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Briareum asbestinum

(Pallas 1766)
This usually has substantial vertical and cylindrical ’fingers’ but may be encrusting only, especially in small colonies. The fingers do not branch or branch rarely.

Polyps are large, giving a hairy appearance to this soft coral. Beneath the polyps the surface may be strongly purple.

The species can be abundant in back-reef areas, on areas of coral rubble, and is found also in seagrass beds.