The behaviour of Mediterranean octocoral planulae was studied in light-dark situations and in a light gradient. Larvae of Eunicella singularis (Esper, 1794) reacted photopositively but it is uncertain which mechanism (klinotaxis or klinokinesis) determines this property. The blind larvae probably possess a dermal light sense, but it cannot be excluded that the yolk contains photosensitive carotenoids while the symbiotic zooxanthellae may also play a role. The photopositive behaviour of planulae of this species explains some aspects of the distributional ecology of adult colonies. It was also found that for the induction of settlement and metamorphosis the chemical properties of a given substratum seem to be far more important than its roughness. Larvae of Corallium rubrum (Linnaeus, 1758) are geonegative and indifferent to light. This latter fact is surprising, since in nature the colonies are exclusively found in dark places. It is supposed, therefore, that tolerance of the colonies rather than larval choice determines light-dependent zonation of this species in nature.