Red Gorgonia – Leptogorgia ruberrima
The Red Gorgonia is a species in the family of the Gorgoniidae and thus belongs to the class of the Anthozoa.
The form of Leptogorgia ruberrima is rod-shaped and branched like a tree. Their colour is intense red. It is overgrown with small anemone-like polyps, each with eight tentacles.
They reach up to 50cm in height and width.
Habitat and Distribution
The Red Gorgonia lives on rocky or sandy ground from 25 to over 200m depth. They prefer places with current.
When diving in the Canaries you can observe them very frequently.
They are also found in the southwestern Mediterranean Sea and the eastern Atlantic from the Canary Islands to the Gulf of Guinea.
Leptogorgia ruberrima lives in colonies and in good locations you can usually find “gardens” of them.
It is oriented across the flow to absorb more food. Their diet consists solely of plankton.
They also fluoresce.
One of their main predators is the Keys Simnia. It feeds on the polyps but is not greedy. Meaning it does not eat as much to kill its host.