Eunicella cavolini, commonly known as the yellow gorgonian or yellow sea whip, is a species of colonial soft coral in the family Gorgoniidae. It is native to parts of the eastern Atlantic Ocean and most of the Mediterranean Sea, where it is a common species.Gorgonia gialla Eunicella cavolinii gorgonia mediterranea intotheblue.it
Eunicella cavolini is a much-branched soft coral growing to a height of about 50 cm (20 in). It is fan-shaped with the irregular, cylindrical branches largely growing in a single plane. The stem has an enlarged base fixed to the substrate and the branches are smooth, short and about 3 mm (0.12 in) thick. The coenenchyme (the thin fleshy covering of the stiff skeleton) is yellowish-orange. The polyps are white to yellow, about 2 mm (0.08 in) long and arranged in four rows. Eunicella cavolini can be confused with the warty gorgonian (Eunicella verrucosa), but that sea fan has rougher branches, or with Leptogorgia sarmentosa, but that species has straighter, more slender branches with smaller polyps.
Distribution and habitat
Eunicella cavolini is common throughout the Mediterranean Sea. It grows mainly between 10 and 30 m (33 and 98 ft) but can be found as deep as 150 m (492 ft). It is normally found in a shallower zone than the violescent sea-whip (Paramuricea clavata). It is often found growing in association with other soft corals, sponges, polychaete worms, bryozoans, barnacles and winged oysters.