Rosamond Gifford Zoo

The Internet connection is missing right now, but you're able to browse previously opened pages offline.

Notice: The Zoo Will Close at 1 p.m. on Friday, August 2 to Prepare for Brew at the Zoo. Admission will end at noon.

Colt Coral

Cladiella Sp.

Colt corals are soft and fast growing, with short rounded or conical lobes that are pink to tan in color. The branches resemble fingers that grow out, up, and then fork, and grow more branches in all directions. They grow to 16-inches in height. Tufted polyps extend out from the projection and thus giving a fluffy outward appearance.

Range & Habitat

Native to the Indo-Pacific region, originating from tropical Pacific, Indian Ocean and the Red Sea. These are found in colonies along elevated areas of reef.

Conservation Status: Not Evaluated

Threats: This species of coral can easily contract disease, caused by stress, shock, or ectoparasites such as flatworms, Brown jelly infections, & cyanobacteria.


In the Wild: The majority of their nutrition is received through photosynthesis and comes from their symbiotic relationship with marine algae. Supplementary, they can capture food particles and also absorb dissolved organic matter.

In Human Care: Proper lighting for successful photosynthesis. In some cases, they may be fed microplankton if light sources are not producing a high enough concentration of light to support zooxanthellae.

Life Span

In the Wild: Unknown
In Human Care: Unknown

Fun Facts about the Colt Coral

  • other common names include Finger Leather Coral, Finger-Tip Cladiella Blushing Coral, Stubby Finger Leather Coral, & Seaman’s hand.
  • Unlike other Leather corals, Colt corals are slimy to the touch rather than normal dry texture.
  • Due to the species production of continuous mucus, bacteria can be easily collected and attach themselves onto the coral, bring adverse effects.


The Dallas World Aquarium. 2021. Colt Coral Cladiella Sp. Accessed June 09, 2021 at

 Colt Coral. Animal-World+Pet & Animal Information. Colt Coral, Cladiella species, Soft Coral Information, Finger Leather Coral Care and Coral Pictures (

Updated June 13, 2023
Adjust cookies
Essential cookies
Session cookies,
Performance cookies
Google Analytics,
Functional cookies
Targeting cookies
We are using cookies to give you the best experience on our website.
You can find out more about which cookies we are using or switch them off in settings. Accept