Though most mushroom corals stay put, the Umbrella Mushroom is capable of moving around and relocating. They will eat unsuspecting slow fish and crustaceans. All their tentacles have hold toxic stinging cells, but those perimeter tentacles actually may sting and can actually act as sweeper tentacles to capture prey.
The Umbrella Mushroom is very decorative and moderate to easy to care for. They are a bit more difficult than the genus because they are not as tolerant of poor water conditions. can grow quite large, reaching 4" (10 cm), yet they do tend to grow slower than Indo-Pacific Discosoma. They prefer dim light and a low water flow. Too much light and a higher water flow will actually cause them to shrink their size.
The Umbrella Mushroom was discovered by Duchassaing and Michelotti in 1860. Some names they are known for are Caribbean Umbrella Mushroom or Mottled Mushroom. General names all Corallamorphs are called include Mushroom Coral, False Coral, Disk Anemone, Mushroom Anemone, Coral-like Anemone, False Anemone, and Jewel Anemone.
These Coral Mushrooms are basically a coral without a skeleton and their internal structures are the same as stony corals. The top of their body or the upper surface is called the oral disc. The stalk area, which is very small, is called the column and it is located just above the pedal disc, which is where they attach to surfaces. Umbrella Mushrooms usually come in mottled patterns of green, brown, cream, and blue to purple, with the tentacles being the same color. The looks like an umbrella turned inside out. It resembles a dome shape and someone pushed the center down, yet the middle area is raised and tapers down to the edges. They have an oral disc that is flat and rigid, but can form a long protrusion that they use to defend themselves. Rather than having long feeder tentacles, they have knobby tentacles, with some surface radial lines and bumps. Their perimeter has spaced "points" which can give it a spiked appearance. All their tentacles have hold toxic stinging cells, but those perimeter tentacles actually may sting and do act like a sweeper tentacle which aids in prey capture.
They can actually warp the surface of their oral disc to change the water flow over them to direct particulate and flocculent material toward their mucous center for absorption. At times they will make a trumpet shape. This is thought to be formed when they are needing nourishment, or if the light level is low, or is of low quality due to age.
The Umbrella Mushroom can grow to 4" (10 cm), but their life span is unknown.
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