Class Anthozoa -> Subclass Octocorallia -> Order Alcyonacea -> Suborder Alcyoniina/Holaxonia
Gorgonians are divided amongst two Sub Orders, Scleraxonia, and Holaxonia. Like the soft corals, they have 8-fold symmetry but differ in that their structure is made up of a substance called gorgonin. 8-fold symmetry means the coral has eight tentacles or tentacles in multiples of eight.
Gorgonians are often associated with the vision of graceful sea fans on the floor of the Caribbean. While many are fan-like in appearance, Gorgonians are a highly diverse Order that range from encrusting species resembling xenia to rope-like species that grow in a single long strand. Care must be taken when shopping for Gorgonians because many of the spectacularly colored specimens are non-photosynthetic and require specialized husbandry.