The photo shows a snake star wrapped around two branches of black coral. Snake stars live in a mutually beneficial association with black coral; nearly every colony of black coral supports one or more of this species. They feed on the tiny polyps that are a living part of the coral, and at the same time clear away silt and debris that might smother the coral. Snake stars may be dark red, yellow, pale, striped or spotted, but all forms seem to belong to a single species.
Te whakamahi i tēnei tūemi
Department of Conservation
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