Predators & defenses
 
Research study 1
  No research studies appear to have been done on predators of cup corals. Defenses include a hard skeleton of calcium carbonate and batteries of potent nematocysts.
 
photograph of the nematocyst batteries of cup coral Balanophyllia elegans
The tentacles of cup corals Balanophyllia elegans have potent nematocysts. They are arranged in batteries (white spots)
photograph of a sunflower star Pycnopodia helianthoides that appears to be avoiding contact with a few cup corals Balanophyllia elegans
A sunflower star Pycnopodia helianthoides appears to be avoiding contact with a few cup corals Balanophyllia elegans
photograph of withdrawn cup coral Balanophyllia elegans.  The small crab sitting at the top may have caused the cup coral to withdraw, revealing the calcareous skeleton under its thin skin
The small crab sitting at the top may have caused the cup coral to withdraw, revealing the calcareous skeleton under its thin skin
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