Photo of Orange Cup Coral, Galapagos

By March 1, 2009Galapagos Diaries

On my first full day in the Galapagos Islands, in 1996, we made three great dives at Champion, Enderby and Devil’s Crown. I was on overload all day, surrounded by schools of fish and groups of Galapagos sea lions. After all that diving, plus a visit to Floreana to see flamingos, it was decided that we would return to Isla Champion for a night dive. I was pretty tired so decided to conserve my strength for our Hood visit the next morning and shoot macro subjects in shallow water. Sea lions were buzzing around me through the dive, leaving long glowing contrails of phosphorescent plankton in their wake as they zoomed by. The one photo I kept from the dive that night is this shot of two orange cup coral (Tubastrea coccinea) polyps, a common coraline invert that “blooms” at night.

Orange cup coral, Tubastrea coccinea, Isla Champion

Orange cup coral.
Image ID: 01858
Species: Orange cup coral, Tubastrea coccinea
Location: Isla Champion, Galapagos Islands, Ecuador

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About Phil Colla

I am a natural history photographer. I enjoy making compelling images in the ocean, on land, and in the air. I have maintained the Natural History Photography blog since 2005 and my searchable Natural History Photography Library since 1997. Here are some tear sheets and behind the scenes views. Thanks for looking!