Back to
Cnidaria 
Back to
Animals
Back to Alphabetized Species List

Back to Expanded Species Reports

 

Species Name:    Phyllangia americana
Common Name:                (Hidden Cup Coral)

 

I. TAXONOMY

Kingdom Phylum/Division: Class: Order: Family: Genus:
Animalia Cnidaria Anthozoa Scleractinia Astrangiidae Phyllangia


Phyllangia americana. Photo courtesy of Florida Marine Research Institute.

Species Name: 
Phyllangia americana


Common Name:
Hidden Cup Coral

 


Species Description:

Typical growth pattern is to form small, encrusting groups of 1/2 inch polyps which often do not appear to be connected. Algae, sponges and other organisms overgrow colonies, making polyps somewhat inconspicuous. This species is often found in dark recesses. Color ranges from red-brown to yellow-brown.  Grows to depths of 100 feet; however, it is most commonly found in water less than 60 feet deep.


II. HABITAT AND DISTRIBUTION 

Regional Occurrence:
P. americana occurs along the Florida coast and throughout the West Indies. It may also occur to North Carolina, but this extent of its range is questionable.

IRL Distribution:
P. americana is typically found on nearshore reefs off coastal Florida, and around inlet areas throughout the Indian River Lagoon.


III. LIFE HISTORY AND POPULATION BIOLOGY

Age, Size, Lifespan:
Typical cup diameter size for Phyllangia americana is 10 mm (1/2 inch).

Abundance:
Phyllangia americana is considered common on ledges in Indian River Lagoon Inlets and the Intracoastal Waterway.

Locomotion:
Sessile.


IV. PHYSICAL TOLERANCES

Temperature:
Temperatures recorded for Phyllangia americana occurring in nearshore reefs off Fort Pierce, FL ranged from 13 - 31 °C and averaged 24.6 °C.

Salinity:
Salinites at in nearshore reefs off coastal Florida ranged from 26 - 36.4 ppt. In the Indian River Lagoon, minimum salinity recorded for P. americana was 15 ppt.


V. COMMUNITY ECOLOGY

Habitat:
Phyllangia americana occurs on rock ledges as well as bases of dead Oculina reefs. It can occur at depths from 2 - 3 m to more than 80 m, and can withstand moderate wave exposure in shallow locations.


VI. SPECIAL STATUS

Special Status: 
Habitat Structure

 

Economic Importance:
None.

 

Report by: J. Dineen, Smithsonian Marine Station
with thanks to J. Reed, HBOI
Submit additional information, photos or comments to:
irl_webmaster@si.edu
Page last updated: July 25, 2001