Genus Sarcophyton Coral/Toadstool Leather Coral – Phu Quoc Coral Observation

Genus Sarcophyton - Phu Quoc Coral Observation - Diving & Snorkeling in Phu Quoc

Sarcophyton glaucum, also known as toadstool leather coral or Fiji leather coral, is a common species of soft coral found in Phu Quoc Island, especially at Northeast Coral Reef, U-Turn, Shallow Reef and Half-moon Reef. Toadstool corals resemble or form like a bowl with wrinkles at the mouth, coral has small tentacles that move with the water. The average depths we find them is 1 – 4m, we found a very large toadstool leather coral garden at Shallow Reef in the depth of just 0.5 – 0.6m.

Phu Quoc Snorekling Tour to explore South Phu Quoc water
A toadstool coral cluster at the Half-moon Reef, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam – OnBird Photos 2019

From our observations of the toadstool leather corals in Phu Quoc, we realize that they bleach seasonally, turn into white when tiny polyps (tentacles) are absent or retreat then turn back into yellow color when polyps extend, this is actually a self defense mechanism of leather coral when there are changes of water current, quality or fish nipping at them. When the coral happy or feel the water are really good for them to catch spray they extend their polyps like blossoming.


Note: No touching, collecting corals (live or dead) and pay attention to your fins (especially in the shallow waters) as some experienced divers can also damage corals by accident with their fin