Sea Spider & Table Coral

Sea spiders are very similar to those we see on land.  Most sea spiders have eight legs and a small body.  There are many of these spiders in the reef.
 
Table coral is a type of coral that looks like a shelf or a table.  Like other coral species, table coral is made up of tiny animals called polyps that group together to form the large structure that we see.

 

Relationship: Parasitism

"Sea spiders can be parasitic on many types of coral including table corals.  In this case, the sea spider is the parasite and the coral is the host. Larvae will pierce individual polyps and live inside them."
"The sea spider will then gain food and nutrients from the coral.  This helps the sea spider because they donít have to use energy looking for food. It  harms the coral because it could use those nutrients for itself."

 

CAC is a program of the Institute for the Study of Human-Animal Relations at Canisius College in Buffalo, NY.