Octocorals with monopodial branching and an axial polyp from which
all lateral daughter polyps arise.
There are five species belonging to 3 genera of clavulariid octocorals
in the SAB. The species of Telesto represented in this
region are often distinguished by the presence and orientation of
the flat anthocodial rods in the polyp tentacles. These rods may
be difficult to see, especially if the polyps are retracted into
the calyces. Variability in these features can be seen not only
within colonies, but also within individual polyps. It appears that
if larvae are present within the calyces the polyps are reduced
in size, making it difficult to distinguish the orientation of the
tentacular rods. Relaxing the polyps prior to preservation may make
identification easier (see methods).
Both forms of Scleranthelia rugosahave an encrusting growth
form that make them difficult to recognize in situ.