White encrusting zoanthid
Science name: Palythoa caribaeorum (Duchassaing and Michelotti)
Colonies of brownish-white fleshy polyps with short, stout tentacles grow in thick mats along rocky shorelines. In reef flats and tide pools areas they can withstand a few hours of being exposed to air during low tide. Tentacles curl in and retract and polyps secrete mucus to prevent drying out and predation.7, 8 Colonies can be seen on reef flats and in shallow-water reef communities in both Trinidad and Tobago. Care should be taken when wading to avoid stepping on these slippery mats.