Canarian Sea Mat – Palythoa canariensis
The Canarian Sea Mat is a species in the order of the Zoantharia and thus belongs to the class of the Anthozoa. They are toxic and should not be touched under any circumstances.
Palythoa canariensis has a circular shape. Their colour is light brown and their tentacles are violet, brown in the middle and green at the ends. In addition, they reach a maximum diameter of 5cm.
Habitat and Distribution
The Canarian Sea Mat lives on a solid ground in depths up to 40m. They prefer coastal areas. When diving in the Canaries you can see them from time to time. They can not be found anywhere else, because they are endemic in the Canaries.
Under this link of the Canary Government you will find more precise locations.
Palythoa canariensis lives in colonies. The largest I have seen so far was about 50 animals. Their poison is the subject of research, since it is thought to have healing effects.
There is not much known about life. When I dived with blue light I noticed that they fluoresce intensely green.
Palythoa generally feed on light and plankton.