Studies on the Animal Symbionts of the Gorgonian Coral, Leptogorgia Virgulata (Lamarck)
Colonies of Leptogorgia in the vicinity of Beaufort, North Carolina, occur most commonly in shades of yellow or orange and harbor several species of symbiotic animals whose adaptations are discussed. The snail Neosimnia uniplicata feeds on surface debris and material shed by the host and incorporates pigment from the host colony into its own shell. The gorgonian also harbors a small shrimp, Neopontonides beaufortensis; a tissue-feeding nudibranch, Tritonia wellsi; a bivalve, Pteria colymbus; and two unidentified species of copepods. The barnacle Balanus galeatus settles preferentially on the decaying egg masses of Neosimnia. It grows down to the axis of the gorgonian and, following the disappearance of the egg mass, is surrounded by host tissue.
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Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 01 June 1972
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