Soft corals are octocorals.

They have polyps with eight branching tentacles. Common Soft Corals include Grey Capnella, Fan Coral, Sea Pens, Sarcophyton and bushy Dendronepthya. Grey Capnella is common in Botany Bay and is food for many of the allied Cowrie shells. (See Molluscs.)


Soft Coral Octocoral
Sarcophyton soft coral showing it eight armed and branched tentacles on its polyps feeding. It provides safe shelter for this Coral Cod. Wakaya Passage Ovalau, Fiji. This Sydney Octocoral polyp demonstrates the structure of the Octocorals clearly. Eight branched tentacles on each polyp. Hard corals have multiples six unbranched tentacles on the polyps. (6, 12, 24 etc.)
Fan Coral Whip Coral
Fan Corals grow at right angles to prevailing currents and are very efficient food gatherers. Very few planktonic creatures will pass the web of hungry polyps. Octocorals have channels joining polyps and are thought to share food. Sydney Whip coral provides support for two Pipe fish at Dolphin reef , south of Port Hacking , Cronulla.