Cup coral (Thecopsammia socialis)

Photo Credit: S.W. Ross and M. Rhode (UNCW)

Description: The cup coral is a bit of a loner. While most corals are made of colonies of polyps living together as one organism, the cup coral lives as a single, individual polyp. Cup coral attaches to rocks and other dead corals and looks more like anemones than corals. Cup corals feed by filtering food particles that drift by in the water.

Depth Profile

Figure 1: Approximate depth range of Cup coral (black box). Slope of seafloor is a generalized representation of the Gulf of Mexico shelf and outer continental shelf.