CRITTER: Zoanthid : The deadly seaweed of Hana

  • Terry Lilley / Contributed

    Zoanthids can get quite large laying flat on the reef or create a mound in the shape of a pillow. They come in several colors from brown to grey, green, yellow or purple.

  • Terry Lilley / Contributed

    A large outbreak of Zoanthids on the shallow reef is a sign that there is a bad pollution problem in the area.

Divers in shallow Hawaiian waters will often notice what looks like a new coral species growing on the reef that they had not seen before. What they are looking at is not a hard coral but a soft colonial sea anemone called a Zoanthid.