Erythropodium hicksoni

Erythropodium hicksoni

Size: Mats to 1 m or more

Distribution: Gulf St. Vincent, Spencer Gulf and northern Kangaroo Island

Habitat: Jetty pylons and rocky areas

Depth: Subtidal

Erythropodium hicksoni
Erythropodium hicksoni
Erythropodium hicksoni

Although it resembles a zoanthid, E. hicksoni is an encrusting form of gorgonian, or soft coral. It forms cream to tan mats that encrust jetty pylons and rocks, often overgrowing other organisms. Polyps are scattered throughout the mat, with brown tentacles. This species can be confused with zoanthid, such as Epizoanthus sabulosum, a species which usually encrusts sponges (particularly a bright red Clathria), and has larger polyps.