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NOAA's Coral Kingdom Collection
Catalog of Images

4150 thumbnail picture
Gray angelfish (Pomacanthus arcuatus)
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2003
4151 thumbnail picture
Gray angelfish (Pomacanthus arcuatus)
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2003
4152 thumbnail picture
Queen angelfish (Holacanthus ciliaris)
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2003
4153 thumbnail picture
Queen triggerfish (Balistes vetula)
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2003
4154 thumbnail picture
Indigo hamlet (Hypoplectrus indigo)
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2003
4155 thumbnail picture
Anemone
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2003
4156 thumbnail picture
Red sponge
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2003
4157 thumbnail picture
Yellow tube sponge
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2003
4158 thumbnail picture
Yellow tube sponge
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2003
4159 thumbnail picture
Sponge biodiversity and morphotypes at the lip the wall site in 60 feet of water . Included are the yellow tube sponge, Aplysina fistularis, the purple vase sponge, Niphates digitalis, the red encrusting sponge, Spiratrella coccinea, and the gray rope sponge, Callyspongia sp.
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007 May 23
4160 thumbnail picture
Xestospongia muta, the barrel sponge, may live for 100 years and grow to over 6 feet tall. While populations have declined at sites throughout the Caribbean, they appear to be quite healthy on Little Cayman Island.
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007 May 23
4161 thumbnail picture
Some sponges, like this vase sponge (Callyspongia plicifera), do not host a microbial community that is substantially different from that found in the surrounding water column. Other sponges contain microorganisms that are not commonly found in the water and they are considered bacteriosponges.
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007 May 25
4162 thumbnail picture
This brown sponge (Agelas conifera) is common on both shallow and deep Caribbean reefs, but grows to enormous proportions on deeper reefs where it can orm long creeping arms extending into the depths.
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007 May 25
4163 thumbnail picture
The liver sponge, Plakortis sp., produces a series of important chemical compounds that deter predators and have biomedical antimicrobial activity.
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007 May 23
4164 thumbnail picture
Agelas conifera is a common sponge of the Caribbean over a broad depth gradient. This makes it a great model organism to study phenotypic plasticity.
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007 May 23
4165 thumbnail picture
Purple sea fan (Gorgonia ventalina)
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands
4166 thumbnail picture
Several species of gorgonian octocorals occur on deep reefs. Nicella schmitti, shown here, lacks zooxanthellae, but feeds on particulates and small zooplankton that are abundant along walls.
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007 May 27
4167 thumbnail picture
Plating Agaricids are common down to about 200 ft on the Little Cayman walls, in shallower water they tend to form smaller plates with upright ridges. These differences in morphology may be a mechanism to efficiently gather light for their zooxanthellae.
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007 May 27
4168 thumbnail picture
One of the more common deep reef corals on the Little Cayman walls are Mycetophyllia sp. since they prefer low light conditions. In fact, on shallow reefs, Mycetophyllia polyps are often retracted during the day.
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007 May 27
4169 thumbnail picture
Team TZ members conducting a site survey at a depth of 40 feet. The team members are taking notes of what they see along the tape in 10 cm increments and 50 cm on either side of the tape. They recorded all sponges and corals they see which is correlated with position information.
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007
4170 thumbnail picture
A Hawksbill turtle feeding on a sponge.
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007 May 30
4171 thumbnail picture
Although many of the species found at depth will likely be different than those seen on shallow reefs, some mobile organisms can actually move between shallow and deep reefs. This hawksbill sea turtle feeds on sponges which are common in both deep and shallow reefs.
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007 May 22
4172 thumbnail picture
The precious black corals are also common on the wall faces, rarely above 150 ft depth due to prior harvesting for the jewelry trade.
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007 May 27
4173 thumbnail picture
As light becomes limiting in the deep reef fewer hard corals are able to survive, but many species of soft corals and black corals serve the same functional role as habitat and/or food.
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007
4174 thumbnail picture
The biodiversity of vertical walls can be impressive, as this photo from the Indo-Pacific region demonstrates.
Pacific Ocean, Western Tropical 2007
4175 thumbnail picture
This lettuce coral (Agaricia sp.) is one of the most common corals on the reefs of Little Cayman. The natural color is light tan, but this colony has dark pigmented areas commonly known as Dark Spot Syndrome. The coral is nestled among bright orange sponges (Ectyoplasia ferox).
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007 May 21
4176 thumbnail picture
Black Band Disease was one of the first coral diseases identified back in the 1970s, and is still one of the most prevalent diseases on reefs worldwide. The disease forms a black band of microorganisms that progresses across the coral surface leaving dead white skeleton behind, like that on this brain coral (Diploria strigosa).
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007 May 21
4177 thumbnail picture
In general, most microorganisms are too small to be seen with the naked eye. However, these tufts of filamentous cyanobacteria form large accumulations of individual microscopic cells that are visible. Cyanobacteria often form large aggregations that produce toxins and are detrimental to marine organisms and humans, collectively called harmful algal blooms.
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007 May 25
4178 thumbnail picture
This blushing star coral (Stephanocoenia mechelinii) is severely affected by Dark Spot Syndrome. Although this syndrome rarely kills corals, it can cause localized mortality of coral tissues, as seen in the center of this colony.
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007 May 21
4179 thumbnail picture
Cyanobacteria are increasingly common on Caribbean coral reefs and are frequently found overgrowing benthic organisms such as this soft coral (Eunicea sp.). Although some cyanobacteria form symbiotic relationships with a host organism, others are detrimental and can cause tissue necrosis and mortality.
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007 May 25
4180 thumbnail picture
Looking up to the shallows from below through a window on the reef provides a glimpse of the reef. Built by thousands of years of coral deposition, these outcroppings serve as homes for many species, including corals, fishes and sponges.
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007 May 21
4181 thumbnail picture
Montastrea cavernosa exhibiting green fluorescence only. These are found everywhere from shallow water to deep.
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007 May 24
4182 thumbnail picture
Monsatrea cavernosa exhibiting orange fluorescence and green fluorescence in the mouth of the polyps.
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007 May 24
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Mussa angulosa, a single polyp, is showing green fluorescence. This sample was found at 60 to 70 foot depth.
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007 May 24
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Two examples of the solitary coral, scolymia cubensis, found at a depth of 150 feet. The one on the left is showing red and green fluorescence pattern that differs from the one on the right.
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007 May 24
4185 thumbnail picture
A hermit crab found at the steps of the Little Cayman Research Center.
Caribbean Sea, Cayman Islands 2007 May 30
4186 thumbnail picture
One of the earliest rebreather designs. In 1680, Giovanni Borelli envisioned a diver carrying a large bag of air from which the diver breathed as necessary.
2007
4187 thumbnail picture
A diver explores the vertical distribution of corals on a Pacific wall.
Pacific Ocean, Western Tropical 2007
4188 thumbnail picture
Snorkler off the Harbor Branch ship SEWARD JOHNSON enjoying the western Bahamas reef environment.
Caribbean Sea, Bahamas 2009 July 24
4189 thumbnail picture
Brain coral and algae. White carbonate sands, shallow waters, and coral rock must tend to attenuate colors as corals and overall environment much less colorful than many other coral reef environments.
Caribbean Sea, Bahamas 2009 July 24
4190 thumbnail picture
Yellow sea fan, algae, and fire coral. Sea fans are a type of gorgonian coral.
Caribbean Sea, Bahamas 2009 July 24
4191 thumbnail picture
Yellow sea fan with flamingo tongue cowry.
Caribbean Sea, Bahamas 2009 July 24
4192 thumbnail picture
Sea rod gorgonian coral with polyps extended, fire coral in right background, trumpetfish (Aulostomus maculatus) camouflaging self by blending in with sea rods.
Caribbean Sea, Bahamas 2009 July 24
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Sea rod gorgonian coral with polyps extended and trumpetfish (Aulostomus maculatus) camouflaging self by blending in with sea rods.
Caribbean Sea, Bahamas 2009 July 24
4194 thumbnail picture
Snorkelers over massive brain coral.
Caribbean Sea, Bahamas 2009 July 24
4195 thumbnail picture
Massive brain coral showing distinctive patterning. See reef3894 for scale.
Caribbean Sea, Bahamas 2009 July 24
4196 thumbnail picture
Christmas tree worm on massive brain coral see reef3894 and reef 3895 for scale.
Caribbean Sea, Bahamas 2009 July 24
4197 thumbnail picture
Flamingo tongue cowrie on greenish-yellow sea fan. Sea fans are gorgonian corals.
Caribbean Sea, Bahamas 2009 July 24
4198 thumbnail picture
Green sponge
Caribbean Sea, Bahamas 2009 July 24
4199 thumbnail picture
Black coral branches on white carbonate sediment background.
Caribbean Sea, Bahamas 2009 July 24

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Last Updated:
June 10, 2016