Home > Corals > Cup Corals > Tubastraea coccinea

Updated 2/28/2024

Family Dendrophylliidae




Tubastraea coccinea

Puako, Hawaii, 20 feet


Sharks Cove, Oahu, 30 feet

Kaneohe Bay, Oahu, 10 feet


Puako, Hawaii, 20 feet

Skeleton, Puako, Hawaii, 20 feet


Juveniles, Puako, Hawaii, 20 feet


Sharks Cove, O'ahu, 35 feet


YO-257 wreck, O'ahu, 80 feet

Mahi Wreck, O'ahu, 80 feet


Vandenburg wreck, Key West, 70 feet


YO-257 wreck, O'ahu, 80 feet


Sea Cave, O'ahu, 30 feet


Puako, Hawai'i, 20 feet


Sea Tiger, O'ahu, 85 feet


Night diving among ledges and cavern ceilings covered by Tubastraea coral is truly a macro photographer's dream-come-true.  These beautiful corals extend their 3/4 inch long tentacles to feed upon zooplankton at night.  During the day the tentacles are retracted into deep circular calices.  The outside of these calices are quite smooth and well-developed colonies are composed of many mouths.  Larger and more brightly colored than Oval Cup Coral.   Avoid spending much time under cavern ceilings where these corals live, since trapped air bubbles will cause animals on the ceiling to die.  It is preyed upon by the frilly orange slug Phestilla melanobrachia.  Native to the Indo-Pacific, it became established in the Tropical Atlantic where it is an invasive pest.

All coral skeletons illustrated are from scientific collections taken prior to 1998.