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 Cactus, Elephant Skin, Plate, Lettuce Corals of the Family Agariciidae, pt. 1

To: Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5,

Bob Fenner

Agaricia tenuifolia 

Family Agariciidae, Gray 1847. All utilize endosymbiotic algae, all colonial. Individual coral polyp skeletons have poorly formed walls, prominent/thickened septo-costae, are immersed in their larger skeletal mass, randomly oriented, spaced, often resembling rough, wrinkled skin. Six living genera.

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Genus Agaricia Lamarck 1801. Species are mostly thin vertical plates (sometimes horizontal). Only found in the Atlantic

Agaricia agaricites (Linnaeus 1758). Form complex relatively thick layers of connected bifacial fronds. Upright or encrusting/horizontal. Two Bahamas images, one or "forma danai" in Bonaire.

 

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Agaricia cucullata, Sunray Lettuce Coral. Saucers/plates w/ distinctive (ray like the sun) septal lines running to the edge. Corallites are tucked into ridges like no other member of the genus. Tropical W. Atlantic. Here in Cozumel 2016



Agaricia fragilis, Fragile Saucer Coral. Thin bowl-like colonies; concentric valleys of uneven width. Browns, tans, to greenish and purple. Tropical W. Atlantic. Here in Roatan 2016.

Agaricia grahamae, Graham's Sheet Coral. Looks like thin sheets to thick plates, often as piled up shingles on a sloping reef. Polyps appear star-like in valleys. Septa are equal in size (Lamarck's are dissimilar in thickness). Bahamas pix. Second pick, Graham's on left, Lamarck's on right for comparison.

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Agaricia humilis, Low Relief Lettuce Coral. Colonies 3-5"; more/less circular, lumpy, high density corallites arranged in reticulated patterns. No long valleys or two-faced lobes. Di pic in Bonaire 2016

Agaricia lamarcki Milne Edwards & Haime 1851, Lamarck's Sheet Coral. Colonies are flat one-faced plates arranged in whorls. Bright white polyps. Dissimilar septa size and wider spacing compared with A. grahamae. Usually brown rust in color with whitish mouths. Belize images.

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To: Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5,

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