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Related Articles: True or Stony Corals, Order Scleractinia, Dyed Corals,

/The Best Livestock For Your Reef Aquarium:

Quintessential Small Polyped Stony Corals, the Staghorns, Family Acroporidae, pt. 2

To: Part 1, Part 3

By Bob Fenner


Acropora lamarcki (formerly corymbosa), Veron 2000. Colonies as corymbose plates up to 2 m across. Plates of short, upright branchlets that are more tapering upward. Axial corallites are exsert, tubular, with flaring outer lips. Red Sea images. 

Acropora lokani, Wallace 1994.
https://reefbuilders.com/2019/11/25/acropora-lokani/ /COTW:

Characters: Colonies are composed of robust horizontal main branches which usually diverge. Short upright branchlets diverge from main branches. Axial corallites and incipient axial corallites radiate from branchlets and are tubular in shape large and dominant. Radial corallites are small and pocket shaped.

Colour: Cream, brown or blue (which may photograph pink).

Similar Species: Acropora caroliniana has smaller corallites and forms more plate-like colonies. See also A. granulosa.

Habitat: Shallow reef environments.

Abundance: Sometimes common.
Gili Trawangan, Lombok, Indo.

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Acropora loripes (Brook 1892) /COTW:

Characters: Colonies have many shapes varying from upright bushes to thick plates. There is a continuous range of shape and size between axial and radial corallites; both may be tubular to nearly spherical, with very thick walls. Tubular axial corallites often have no radial corallites on one side and pocket-like radial corallites on the other. All corallites are smooth and rounded.

Colour: Usually pale blue (which may photograph pink) or brown. Axial corallites are usually whitish.

Similar Species: Acropora rosaria and A. appressa. Acropora caroliniana and A. granulosa have more elongate axial corallites. See also A. maryae.

Habitat: Upper reef slopes but occurs in a wide range of environments.

Abundance: Common in the central Indo-Pacific. Bali, Indo. 2014

Acropora maryae possibly Veron 2000, /COTW:
Characters: Colonies are usually upright compact bushes, but may form thick plates. Branches are short and sub-branches are frequent. Axial and incipient axial corallites are large and dome-shaped, with thick walls. They may become long and tubular. Radial corallites are small and inconspicuous. All corallites are smooth and rounded. The coenosteum is smooth.Colour: Usually uniform blue (which may photograph pink) or cream.Similar Species: Acropora loripes, which has more exsert (pocket-like) radial corallites and is not uniformly coloured. See also A. rosaria and A. squarrosa.Habitat: Upper reef slopes.Abundance: Common. Sinai 2019

Umm, a purple Acropora monticulosa in Fiji... not air-brushed, I swear!
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Acropora palmata, Elkhorn Coral. Found in the tropical West Atlantic. Established stands are 3-12 feet in diameter, with branches of 2-10 inch width. Occasionally "occurs" on live rock cultured for the trade. Pictured, a large stand in Belize and a budding colony in an aquarium. 
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Acropora prolifera, the Fused Staghorn. Photos of a colony in Cancun, Mexico, and a "found" cultured specimen in captivity. This is actually a nomen nudum... a cross twixt A. palmata and A. cervicornis. The last are the only valid Acropora species occurring in the TWA. 

Acropora robusta forms irregular colonies with thick, upward pointing branches. Much appreciated by hiding fishes and invertebrates.

Acropora squarrosa (Ehrenberg 1834).  /COTW
Characters: Colonies are usually upright bushes with short compact branches. Axial corallites are large and dome-shaped, with thick walls. Radial corallites have a wide range of sizes but are identical to axial corallites in shape and appearance. All corallites are smooth and rounded and have small openings. The coenosteum is smooth.Colour: Cream or pale brown. Corallite centres are a distinct blue or pink, depending on depth.
Similar Species: 
Acropora plantaginea, which has relatively crowded radial corallites. See also A. verweyi, which has neat pocket-like radial corallites and A. maryae, which has thinner branches, does not form compact clumps and has less exsert radial corallites. See also A. rosaria and A. granulosa.
Upper reef slopes.
in the Sinai, Red Sea 2019.
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Acropora tenuis (formerly eurystoma) (Dana 1846). Colonies as  corymbose clumps. Often with their fine branches evenly spaced. Corallites: Axial ones are long, tubular. Radial ones in neat rosettes with flaring colored lips. Common on Res Sea Rocky Reef Slopes. Above, left and below, the last captively propagated through fragmentation. This is a wide-spread Indo-Pacific species that generally forms large, even colonies in the wild.

Above, left, and below are Acropora valida, the most widespread member of the genus, found from the east coast of Africa and the Red Sea all the way across the Pacific to the west coast of Central America. An adaptable and useful aquarium species. The last is a tank-raised fragment.

Possibly Acropora willisae Veron & Wallace 1984, /COTW:

Characters: Colonies are corymbose plates up to approximately one metre across, with short, uniform, evenly spaced, non-tapered branchlets bearing numerous axial corallites. There is usually more than one axial corallite per branchlet. Radial corallites near branchlet tips are tubular and appressed.

Colour: Grey, cream, blue (which may photograph pink) or brown.

Similar Species: Acropora desalwii. Acropora granulosa has long axial corallites and is not corymbose. See also A. parapharaonis.

Habitat: A wide range of environments from lower reef slopes to lagoons.

Abundance: Common in Western Australia, rarely common elsewhere. Here in N. Sulawesi.

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 To: Part 1, Part 3

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