Litophyton is a genus of tree soft corals in the family Nephtheidae. There are a number of species, for example Lithophyton arboreum. However, the differentiation is not easy, and also the distinction to other tree soft corals like Dendronephthya or Neospongodes is rather vague. In general, our Lithophyton belong to the zooxanthellate species and feed on light. They do not make any demands on the water quality, therefore they are suitable as first stock for new aquariums or for beginners of the marine hobby.

Usually the coloration is creamy purple to pink or yellowish, but this is most apparent in whiter light settings. There has been extensive research on Litophyton arboreum in the Red Sea, including reproductive mechanisms and timing of assimilation of zooxanthellate algae of the genus Symbiodinium - these are already present in the gametes as endosymbionts. Further research is looking at possible medical applications, as soft corals or Alcyonacea like Litophyton show e.g. antimicrobial activity.

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