Physical Description

The Red Gorgonian, or Lophogorgia chilensis, is a sea fan with branches reaching up to 90 centimeters in height. Its distinctive red skeleton is adorned with white polyps. Unlike many other sea fans, its branches do not lie in a single plane, giving it a unique appearance.

Habitat and Geographical Range

Found infrequently in the Monterey Bay area, Red Gorgonians inhabit rocky substrates in deep waters, typically beyond 30 meters. They prefer areas with suitable currents for filter feeding.

Diet and Reproduction

As filter feeders, Red Gorgonians capture plankton and organic particles using their polyps. They reproduce by releasing gametes into the water column during spawning events, contributing to genetic diversity and population growth.

Physical Threat to Humans

Red Gorgonians pose no direct threat to humans. However, they are fragile organisms that can be damaged by physical contact, making them susceptible to disturbances caused by human activities such as trawling or anchoring.