Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Corallium is the name of the genus of which the ordinary "Red Coral" is the best known representative. It belongs to the class Alcyonaria (q.v.) and so is not a typical coral, the body being arranged on an eight-radial instead of a six-radial type; the eight tentacles moreover are all pinnate. The "red coral" itself is composed of a series of small spicules fused together into a solid calcareous axis; as this is deposited by the soft tissues by which it is surrounded, it is known as a "sclerobasic" skeleton. The individual zooids that form the colony occur embedded in a fleshy layer (the coenosarc) which surrounds the skeleton. The best known species is Corallium rubrum, which lives abundantly in the shallower waters of the Mediterranean. The genus was first represented in Jurassic times.