small "squat lobster" hides on a finger coral [142K]

This soft coral, less than 2 inches tall, is commonly known as a "finger coral". A small,
commensal "squat lobster" (actually a crab) has taken up residence on the coral.

The tentacles of the soft coral contain stinging cells and provide protection for the crab. Soft corals are similar to their hard coral cousins, but lack a hard limestone skeleton. Most soft corals rely on the ocean current to supply necessary nutrients.

Coral identification:
Minabea sldersladei
Crab identification:
Galathea sp.

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