Very special thanks for the photos of the ultra rare coral Tubastraea floreana to Paul Humann, http://fishid.com/, USA.
Paul has taken the photo sat the Galagaos-Island and it seems to be the only exsiting photos at all.
Refering to the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species, the coral is critically endangered!!
Informations from the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species:
T. floreana occurs in cryptic habitats; on ceilings of caves, ledges and rocks overhangs (Wells 1983, Hickman 2005). T. floreana has been reported to occur at depths of 2 to 46 m depth (Wells 1983, Cairns 1991, Hickman 2005, A. Chiriboga pers. comm., P. Humann pers. comm. to C.P. Hickman).
Before 1983 T. floreana was known from Caleta Iguana, Isabela; Buccaneer Cove, Santiago; Cousins near Santiago; Pinzón, Playa Prieta, Floreana, and Gardner Islet near Floreana (Wells 1983, Cairns 1991). However, after the 1982-83 ENSO (El Niño) event, T. floreana was not reported from any site until the early 1990s; when P. Humann observed and photographed three colonies at Cousins, near Santiago (P. Humann pers. comm. to C.P. Hickman). According to P. Humann (pers. comm. to C.P. Hickman), he observed these colonies yearly until 2001, but has not seen them since. Despite targeted searches throughout the Archipelago, the only colonies found during the past decade were located at Gardner Islet, near Floreana in 2004 (A. Chiriboga pers. comm.).
Tubastrea and Dendrophyllia, both belonging to the family Dendropyhllidae.
These corals live NOT of zooxanthellae, needs daily feeding with zooplankton!
Classification: Biota > Animalia (Kingdom) > Cnidaria (Phylum) > Anthozoa (Class) > Hexacorallia (Subclass) > Scleractinia (Order) > Dendrophylliidae (Family) > Tubastraea (Genus) > Tubastraea micranthus (Species)