Friday, November 30, 2007

Staghorn Coral

[Originally posted to the Moorea Coral Reef LTER (MCR LTER) Marine Life Encyclopedia]

Staghorn Coral
(Acropora pulchra)

Staghorn Coral - Acropora pulchra
Photo by Gerick Bergsma

Throughout the Indo-pacific, including the Red Sea, Indonesia, Australia, Japan and Polynesia.

Shallow back-reef and lagoon areas.

Staghorn Coral receive energy from sunlight via photosynthetic symbionts (zooxanthellae) and plankton captured using stinging cells.

Quick Fact
Many fish use the dense stands of A. pulchra, which may grow up to 5 meters across, as refuge.  The maze of holes and crevices formed between the branches are too small and difficult to maneuver for many of the reef's larger predators, and provide an ideal habitat for juvenile fish to grow.

Learn More
- Australian Institute of Marine Science
- Nancy Muehllehner's Graduate Research
- What are Corals?

- Moorea Biocode Database

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