Successfully reported this slideshow.
We use your LinkedIn profile and activity data to personalize ads and to show you more relevant ads. You can change your ad preferences anytime.

Coral taxonomy


Published on

coral Taxonomy

Published in: Environment
  • Be the first to comment

Coral taxonomy

  1. 1. FRM 607 Coral Reef Management Coral Taxonomy Jaspreet Singh FRM-PA6-04
  2. 2. Introduction • Corals are marine invertebrates in the class Anthozoa of phylum Cnidaria. • Phylum containing over 10,000 species of animals found exclusively in aquatic (freshwater and marine) environments: they are predominantly marine species. • From taxonomic point of view members of the Phylum Cnidaria are regarded as first metazoan animal. • Hyman (1940) presented the classification of Coelenterata. • Recently the name Cnidaria in place of Coelenterata is used because Ctenophora has been separated from it and given the status of a Phylum.
  3. 3. • A group of diploblastic animals with radial symmetry, without organ system and anus and having single tubular gastrovascular cavity and with tentacles and nematocysts is recognized as Cnidaria.
  4. 4. General Characters of Cnidaria 1. Cnidarians are multicellular animals and first metazoan with tissue grade of construction. 2. Most of the Cnidarians are marine, though some are fresh water forms. 3. Body radially symmetrically 4. A single coelenteron or gastrovascular cavity is present which opens through mouth, anus is absent. 5. Small and narrow tentacles surround the mouth in circlet. Tentacles are used to procure food and for defence. 6. Body is covered by epidermis, gastrovascular cavity is lined by endodermis and in between the two there is a layer of non cellular matrix known as mesoglea. 7. Body diploblastic and so coelom is present.
  5. 5. 8. No Circulatory system, use cellular diffusion and mesoglea 9. Nervous Nerve net (ring around the bell of medusa) 10.Endocrine have hormones, secreted by nervous system. 11.The colonies show polymorphism with polyp and medusa as basic Zooids. Polyp represent asexual form and medusa represents sexual zooid. 12.A special type stinging cells known as nematocysts are present. These cells help in defenses and food capture. 13.Ciliated planula larva is found. 14.In the life cycle alternation of generation and metagenesis are found.
  6. 6. The developmental stages of scyphozoan jellyfish's life cycle: 1–3 Larva searches for site 4–8 Polyp grows 9–11 Polyp strobilates 12–14 Medusa grows
  7. 7. Classification of Phylum Cnidaria
  8. 8. Classification of Phylum Cnidaria The basis of classification is the adult forms whether polyp or medusa. Phylum Cnidaria has been classified into four Classes- Class I: Hydrozoa (a diverse group that includes all the freshwater cnidarians as well as many marine forms, and has both sessile members, such as Hydra, and colonial swimmers, such as the Portuguese Man o' War) Class II: Scyphozoa (jellyfish), swimming Class III: Anthozoa (sea anemones, corals, sea pens) Class iv: Cubozoa (box jellies) Carybdea sivickisi Avispa_marina
  9. 9. Class I- Hydrozoa Characters:- • Fresh water members of this class live singly, but the marine forms live singly or form polymorphic colony. • Though only polyp or medusa is found but sometimes both polyp or medusa may be found in the same animal. • Gastrovascular cavity is directly connected with mouth. • Alternation of generation is found in the life cycle. • Ciliated planula larva is found. • No stomodeum, velum present in medusa. • Radial canals in medusa are not branched. • Gametes develop from ectoderm. Craspedacusta sowerbyi (Physalia_physalis) Portuguese_Man-OWar
  10. 10. Class II- Scyphozoa Characters:- • Larger medusa, free swimming, all are marine.(referred to as the true jellyfish) • Polyp absent or reduced. • Gastrovascular cavity branched. • Well developed nematocyst very active. • Gastric tentacles and gametes developed from endodermis. • Mesoglea thick, fibrous and contains amoebocytes. • Sense organs as tentaculocyst. • Many tentacles hang from the velum. Cauliflour_Jellyfish, Cephea cephea Chrysaora colorata
  11. 11. Class - Anthozoa • Largest class of cnidarians, containing over 6,000 species. • Mouth surrounded by tentacles with nematocysts. • Partioned gastro vascular cavity. • Secretes substance around outside of body to support and protect soft body tissues. • Reproduces sexually by producing a free-swimming larva (planula) or asexually by budding or fission. • Cylindrical, with radial symmetry. • No alternation of generation - polyps only • Anthozoans include sea anemones, a variety of corals, sea fans, and sea pens.
  12. 12. Class - Anthozoa • Subclass - Octocorallia (Alcyonaria) 1. Order: alcyonacea (soft corals & gorgonians) 2. Order helioporacea (blue corals) 3. Order pennatulacea (sea pens) • Subclass-Hexacorallia 1.order Actiniaria (sea anemones) 2.order Antipatharia (black coral) 3.order Ceriantharia (Tube-dwelling anemone) 4.order Corallimorpharia (Mushroom corals) 5.order Rugosa 6.order Scleractinia (stony corals) 7.order Zoantharia
  13. 13. Subclass - Octocorallia (Alcyonaria) • It comprising around 3,000 species of water-based organisms formed of colonial polyps with 8-fold symmetry. • Colony may be simple or plant like. • These organisms have an internal skeleton secreted by mesoglea. • Tentacles and mesenteries 8 or in multiples of 8. • As with all Cnidarians these organisms have a complex life cycle including a motile phase when they are considered plankton and later characteristic sessile phase. • It includes the blue coral, soft corals, sea pens, and gorgonians (sea fans and sea whips) within three orders: Alcyonacea, Helioporacea, and Pennatulacea .
  14. 14. Order: Alcyonacea (soft corals & gorgonians)  Soft corals contain minute, spiny skeletal elements called sclerites, useful in species identification.  Sclerites give these corals some degree of support and give their flesh a spiky, grainy texture that deters predators.  Unlike stony corals, most soft corals thrive in nutrient-rich waters with less intense light. Almost all utilize symbiotic photosynthesizing zooxanthella as a major energy source.  However, most will readily eat any free floating food, such as zooplankton, out of the water column.  Many soft corals are easily collected in the wild for the reef aquarium hobby. Soft corals grow quickly in captivity and are easily divided into new individuals, and so those grown via aquaculture are often hardier and less expensive than imported corals from the wild.
  15. 15. Suborders & families • Suborder Alcyoniina • Family Alcyoniidae: (36 genera, 465 species) eg. Lobophytum, Alcyonium, Sinularia. • Family Nephtheidae: (20 genera, 500 species) eg. Capnella sp. • Family Nidaliidae: (8 genera, 89 species) eg. Chironephthya, Siphonogorgia, Nidalla, • Family Paralcyoniidae: (5 genera, 13 species) eg. Maasella Edwards • Family Xeniidae: (16 genera, 137 species) eg. Xenia, Stereosoma, Anthelia, Alcyonium Lobophytum Capnella Chironephthya, Siphonogorgia Maasella Anthelia Xenia
  16. 16.  Suborder Calcaxonia  Family Chrysogorgiidae: (14 genera, 92 species) eg. Metallogorgia sp. Iridogorgia sp.  Family Dendrobrachiidae: (1 genus, 3 species) eg. Dendrobranchia fallax, D. multispina  Family Ellisellidae: (10 genera, 100 species) eg. Ctenocella andamanensis  Family Ifalukellidae: (2 genera, 6 species) eg. Ifalukella yanii  Family Isididae: (38 genera, 135 species) eg. Acanella sp.  Family Primnoidae: (37 genera, 210 species) eg. Acanthoprimnoa sp. Ctenocella andamanensis Ifalukella yanii Acanella
  17. 17. • Suborder Scleraxonia • Family Anthothelidae: (14 genera, 55 species) eg. Anthothela sp. • Family Briareidae: (2 genera, 10 species) eg. Lignopsis sp. • Family Coralliidae: (3 genera, 30 species) eg. Corallium sp. • Family Melithaeidae: (6 genera, 104 species) eg. Clathraria sp. • Family Paragorgiidae: (2 genera, 17 species) eg. Paragorgia sp. • Family Parisididae: (1 genus, 5 species) eg. Parisis sp. • Family Subergorgiidae: (3 genera, 6 species) eg. Rosgorgia sp. Anthothela Corallium Clathraria Paragorgia Rosgorgia
  18. 18. Yellow Leather Coral • The Yellow Leather Coral Sarcophyton elegans is a favorite coral from the Sarcophyton genus. The majority of the Sarcophyton sp. have a thick smooth, single stalk with a flared, smooth mushroom-shaped top that can be folded or funnel-shaped. The S. elegans however has less of a stalk, and grows closer to the rock work. • "top" is called a capitulum, and within that area are found autozooid polyps for feeding and siphonozooid polyps for water movement. The polyps can retract all the way, giving it a smooth look at times. Yellow Toadstool Leather Coral • The Yellow Toadstool Leather Coral or Gold-Crowned Leather Coral Sarcophyton tenuispiculatum is popular leather coral favorite in the Sarcophyton genus. The Sarcophyton sp. have a thick smooth, single stalk with a flared, smooth mushroom-shaped top that can be folded or funnel-shaped. • Depending on the species, younger colonies are mushroom-shaped and mature colonies are more lobed and folded like a toadstool. Some keep the toadstool look their entire life. The flesh is firm and soft, yet can be easily torn. The "top" is called a capitulum and within that area are found autozooid polyps for feeding and siphonozooid polyps for water movement.
  19. 19. Cabbage Leather Coral • One of the best known octocorals is the Cabbage Leather Coral Lobophytum crassum. They are a soft coral that have a thick and heavy "skin" with lobed projections, and form a low encrusting colony. They resemble a cabbage in that their curved, cupped shape looks like a large ruffled leaf. Some other descriptive common names include Rabbit Ear Leather Coral, Flower Coral, and Lobed Leather Coral. • The Cabbage Leather Coral is a hardy, adaptable coral. They come from a wide variety of environments at depths of 20 to 60 (6 to 18 m). They are found near the shore on shallow waters reef flats, where they are most prolific, as well as turbid lagoons attached to rubble. Some are exposed to low tide as well. The Lobophytum species are some of the first soft corals to enter the aquarium trade because they travel well. • The polyps of the Cabbage Leather Coral are on the outside edge of the "leaves". They look more like tufts instead of the fully developed polyps seen on other corals. When feeding the polyps are out, and as nutrients are captured, the polyps retract. The flesh feels grainy, and can be brittle, so handle with care.
  20. 20. Tree Coral • The Lemnalia genus can be hard to differentiate from the others in the Nephtheidae family, but like all families, there is always the thin kid. In general, the Tree Coral Lemnalia sp. has a thinner stalk than others in their family, and that stalk has no polyps. Also on its thin branches and branchlets, the polyps are more or less scattered, as opposed to the dense populations of the other genera. • Lemnalia corals are branching and are usually found in areas of moderate to strong water movement. • Their colors are usually cream to brown, white, or pinkish brown with the polyps being very close in color, though maybe a little darker than the main body. • Some common names they are known for are Tree Coral, Cauliflower Coral, Branch Coral, Lemnalia Coral, Lemnalia Tree Coral, Broccoli Coral, and Kenya Tree Coral. • Of the soft coral genera belonging to the Nephtheidae family, the Tree Coral is not as hardy as members of the Capnella genus, like the durable Kenya Tree Coral Capnella sp.. Yet they are also not as hard to care for as the needy members of the Dendronephthya genus, which contain the colorful Carnation Corals Dendronephthya sp.
  21. 21. Order Helioporacea (blue corals) • It forms massive lobed crystalline calcareous skeletons in colonial corals. These corals first appeared in the Cretaceous period. • The blue coral (Heliopora coerulea), the only species in the family Helioporidae, is most common in shallow water of the tropical Pacific and Indo-Pacific reefs. • It has no spicules, and is the only octocoral known to produce a massive skeleton formed of fibro crystalline aragonite fused into lamellae. • They form large colonies that can exceed a meter in diameter. They are composed of vertical branches.
  22. 22. • The entire skeleton, however, has an unusual blue color and therefore the species is commonly exploited for decorative uses. • The blue color of the skeleton is caused by iron salts. Blue coral can be used in tropical aquaria, and the crystalline calcareous fibres in the skeletons can be used for jewelry. • Cilia (tiny hair like projections) on six septa draw water into the cavity. Cilia on the other two septa expel water. Family: Helioporidae (1 genus, 1 species) • Heliopora coerulea Family: Lithotelestidae (1 genus, 4 species) • Genus Epiphaxum Heliopora coerulea
  23. 23. order Pennatulacea (Sea pens) • Suborder Sessiliflorae • Anthoptilidae: (1 genus, 2 species) eg. Anthoptilum grandiflorum • Chunellidae: (2 genera, 4 species) eg. Calibelemnon indicum • Echinoptilidae: (2 genera, 7 species) eg. Actinoptilum sp. • Funiculinidae: (1 genus, 3 species) eg. Funiculina sp. • Kophobelemnidae: (3 genera, 18 species) eg. Sclerobelemnon sp. • Protoptilidae: (2 genera, 7 species) eg. Protoptilum sp. • Renillidae: (1 genus, 4 species) eg. Renilla sp. • Scleroptilidae: (2 genera, 4 species) eg. Scleroptilum sp. • Stachyptilidae: (2 genera, 4 species) eg. Gilibelemnon sp. • Umbellulidae: (1 genus, 9 species) eg. Umbellula sp. • Veretillidae: (5 genera, 35 species) eg. Lituaria sp. • Suborder Subselliflorae • Pennatulidae: (6 genera, 50 species) eg. Pennatula sp. • Pteroeididae: Pteroeides sp. • Virgulariidae: (5 genera, 40 species) eg. Acanthoptilum sp. Anthoptilum Actinoptilum Funiculina Sclerobelemnon Protoptilum Renilla Scleroptilum Umbellula. Pennatula
  24. 24. Subclass-Hexacorallia • Hexacorallia comprising approximately 4,300 species of aquatic organisms formed of polyps, generally with 6-fold symmetry. • It includes all of the stony corals, most of which are colonial and reef-forming, as well as all sea anemones, tube anemones, and zoanthids. • These organisms are formed of individual soft polyps which in some species live in colonies and can secrete a calcite skeleton. • As with all Cnidarians, these organisms have a complex life cycle including a motile planktonic phase and a later characteristic sessile phase. • Hexacorallia also include the significant extinct orders of the rugose corals and tabulate corals. Haeckel, 1866 (6 orders)
  25. 25. Order Actiniaria (sea anemones) Suborder Endocoelantheae  Family Actinernidae (4 genera, 7 species)  Family Halcuriidae (2 genera, 10 species) Suborder Nynantheae (3 infraorders)  Infraorder Boloceroidaria (2 families)  Family Boloceroididae (3 genera, 9 species)  Family Nevadneidae (1 genus, 1 species)  Infraorder Thenaria Acontiaria (14 families) Endomyaria (13 families) Mesomyaria (4 families) Actinostola chilensis Urticina crassicornis. Cnidopus japonicus Bunodactis_reynaudi
  26. 26. Order Antipatharia (black coral) • Antipathidae : (8 genera, 141 species); Allopathes, Antipathes. • Aphanipathidae: (9 genera, 22 species); Acanthopathes. • Cladopathidae: (6 genera, 18 species); Hexapathes, Heliopathes. • Leiopathidae: (1 genus, 6 species); Leiopathes. • Myriopathidae: (5 genera, 33 species); Antipathella, Myriopathes. • Schizopathidae: (11 genera, 41 species); Abyssopathes. • Stylopathidae: (3 genera, 9 species); Triadopathes, Stylopathes. Antipathes Leiopathes Antipathella
  27. 27. order Ceriantharia (Tube-dwelling anemone) Suborder Spirularia • Botrucnidiferidae (11 genera, 28 species) Botruanthus, Botrucnidiata, Cerianthula, Hensenanthula. • Cerianthidae (19 genera, 75 species) Ceriantheopsis, Cerianthus, Engodactylactis, Suborder Penicilaria • Arachnanthidae (10 genera, 38 species) Anactinia, Anactis, Dactylactis, Paranactinia, Arachnanthus. Cerianthula Ceriantheopsis Botruanthus Dactylactis
  28. 28. order Corallimorpharia (Mushroom corals) • Corallimorphidae (2 genera, 22 species) • genus Corallimorphus -- 6 species, Corallimorphus antarcticus • genus Corynactis -- 16 species, Corynactis australis • Discosomatidae (4 genera, 20 species) • genus Amplexidiscus -- 1 species • genus Discosoma -- 11 species • genus Metarhodactis -- 1 species • genus Platyzoanthus -- 1 species • genus Rhodactis -- 6 species • Ricordeidae • genus Ricordea -- 2 species, Ricordea florida. • Sideractiidae • genus Nectactis -- 1 species, Nectactis singularis. • genus Sideractis -- 1 species, Sideractis glacialis. Corallimorphus Corynactis Rhodactis inchoata Ricordea florida.
  29. 29. Order Rugosa • The Rugosa, also called the Tetracoralla, are an extinct order of coral that were abundant in Middle Ordovician to Late Permian seas. • Solitary rugosans (e.g., Caninia, Lophophyllidium,Neozaphrentis, Streptelasma) are often referred to as horn corals because of a unique horn-shaped chamber with a wrinkled, or rugose, wall. • Some species of rugose corals could form large colonies (e.g.Lithostrotion) • Rugose corals have a skeleton made of calcite that is often fossilized. Rugose corals were invariably benthic, living on the sea floor or in a reef-framework. • Some symbiotic rugose corals were endobionts of Stromatoporoidea, especially in the Silurian. • Although there is no direct proof, it is inferred that these Palaeozoic corals possessed stinging cells to capture prey. • They also had tentacles to help them catch prey. Technically they were carnivores, but prey-size was so small they are often referred to as microcarnivores.
  30. 30. Order Scleractinia (stony corals) • There are two main ecological groups. Hermatypic corals are mostly colonial corals which tend to live in clear, oligotrophic, shallow tropical waters; they are the world's primary reef-builders. • Ahermatypic corals are either colonial or solitary and are found in all regions of the ocean and do not build reefs. Some live in tropical waters but some inhabit temperate seas, polar waters, or live at great depths, from the photic zone down to about 6,000 m (20,000 ft). • The order Scleractinia includes all post-Paleozoic fossil and recent corals. • The Scleractinia are distinguished by a calcareous external skeleton.
  31. 31. • Veron (2000) reported 18 families, 111 genera and 793 species of Scleractinia from the world. • Wallace (1999) reported 114 species of the genus Acropora in her book on ‘Staghorn corals of the world.
  32. 32. 1. Acroporidae (7 genera, 244 species); Acropora, Anacropora, Montipora, Astreopora 2. Agariciidae (6 genera, 43 species); Agaricia, Leptoseris, Pavona. 3. Anthemiphylliidae (1 genus, 7 species); Anthemiphyllia. 4. Astrocoeniidae (2 genera, 4 species) 5. Caryophylliidae (43 genera, 294 species); Anomocora, Caryophyllia. 6. Dendrophylliidae (18 genera, 152 species); Astroides, Notophyllia, 7. Euphyllidae (4 genera, 13 species) 8. Faviidae (23 genera, 125 species); Astreosmilia, Favia, Favites,. 9. Flabellidae (10 genera, 98 species) Flabellum, Monomyces, Javania. 10. Fungiidae (11 genera, 43 species); Fungia, Halomitra, Cantharellus. 11. Gardineriidae (2 genera, 6 species) Montipora Acropora Leptoseris Agaricia , Favia
  33. 33. 12. Poritidae (5 genera, 92 species); Alveopora, Porites, Poritipora. 13. Rhizangiidae (4 genera, 32 species); Astrangia, Cladangia. 14. Schizocyathidae (3 genera, 3 species) 15. Stenocyathidae (3 genera, 3 species) 16. Trachyphylliidae (1 genus, 1 species); Trachyphyllia geoffroyi 17. Turbinoliidae (23 genera, 57 species); Cryptotrochus, Holcotrochus. 18. Guyniidae (1 genus, 1 species); Guynia annulata 19. Meandrinidae (4 genera, 5 species) 20. Mussidae (14 genera, 50 species); Cynarina, Indophyllia, Lobophyllia. 21. Oculinidae (6 genera, 14 species); Acrhelia, Oculina, Madrepora. 22. Pectiniidae (6 genera, 28 species); Oxypora, Physophyllia, Pectinia. Alveopora Astrangia Trachyphyllia geoffroyi Cynarina Oculina Oxypora Diploria
  34. 34. Order Zoantharia • Abyssoanthidae (1 genus, 2 species) • Epizoanthidae (2 genus, 43 species) • Hydrozoanthidae (2 genera, 5 species) • Hydrozoanthus • Terrazoanthus • Neozoanthidae (1 genus, 1 species) • Neozoanthus tulearensis • Sphenopidae (2 genera, 42 species) • Palythoa • Sphenopus Epizoanthus Neozoanthus Palythoa Hydrozoanthus
  35. 35. • Parazoanthidae (6 genera, 29 species) • Antipathozoanthus • Corallizoanthus • Isozoanthus • Mesozoanthus • Parazoanthus • Savalia • Zoanthidae (3 genera, 45 species) • Acrozoanthus • Isaurus • Zoanthus Savalia Acrozoanthus
  36. 36. Orange Sun Coral • The Orange Sun Coral Tubastraea faulkneri is so gorgeous, it often is found on the covers of coffee table books and books that specialize in corals. • The corallites of the Orange Sun Coral, the hard round, tubular structures that the polyps live in. • The corallites are covered with a tissue, called the coenosteum. • The fleshy tentacles of its polyps are bright yellow with the coenosteum having a bright orange color, and the very center of the polyps are also bright orange. • They extend their polyps mostly during the evening hours, though they can be coaxed out during the day if food is present. • During the day the coral is completely withdrawn and only the bright orange coenosteum is visible, making it look like a ball with raised round flat nubs. • The Orange Sun Coral can form colonies around 6" (15 cm) in diameter. They are slow growers, only adding about 1.6" of growth per year. The T. faulkneri are also ahermatypic, which means they don't contribute to reef building.
  37. 37. Scroll Coral • The Scrolling Tubinaria Coral Turbinaria reniformis is one of the most recognized of the Turbinaria genus. In mature specimens, their scroll-like or whorled shape can be either vertical or more horizontal, depending on the depth in which they are found. • Specimens found at deeper levels have a plate like or flatter, horizontal appearance. • That can change to a scroll like, upright shape in shallower water with brighter lighting. • Their shapes include vase, plate, and columnar, yet they are quite adaptable. They will robustly change shape with a change in environment. If one were to transplant a shallow dwelling species to deeper levels, or visa versa, they will actually change shape to make the most out of the lighting in each habitat. • Besides having various shapes, Turbinaria corals also have variations in their polyps. One side of any plate or column generally has polyps or at least tissue coverage. The color of the Scrolling Coral T. reniformis is usually a yellowish or greenish brown, usually with yellow polyps and a yellow edge.
  38. 38. • Turban Coral • The handsome Turban Coral Turbinaria peltata is a definite favorite from the Turbinaria genus. The corallites of its skeletal structure are knobby as opposed to an 'ant hill' tubular type, and they are close together. I • ts polyps are big and frilly, covering the underlying skeleton so well that the coral almost looks furry. • Turban Corals T. peltata are typically sold in the "cup" form, yet again depending on the depth that they are captured, they can become columnar in shape. • The characteristic Turbinaria shapes are reflected in the Turban Coral's other common names including Cup Coral, Pagoda Cup Coral, Green Cup Coral, Chalice Coral, Column Coral, Bowl Coral, Octopus Coral, Plate Coral, Vase Coral, Disk Coral, Platter Coral, and Saucer Coral. • One side of any plate or column generally has polyps or at least tissue coverage. The Turban Coral has large fleshy polyps with calices (opening of the corallite) that are 3 to 5 mm in diameter. • The color of the T. peltata can be brown, yellow, gray, and greenish gray blue with some cream
  39. 39. Hedgehog Coral (Echinopora Sp.) • The Echinopora genus is often found with Clown Goby species from the genus Gobiodon bopping around its surface. • These energetic little coral gobies hardly reaching 2 1/2 inches, and they have a toxic body slime so other fish don't bother with them. • They are quite content living among Hedgehog Corals as well as Acroporas, much like a clownfish and an anemone. • The Hedgehog Coral species most commonly seen in the aquarium trade are the Leafy Hedgehog Coral E. lamellosa and Hedgehog Coral E. mammiformis. Also E. horrida is seen from time to time. E. lamellosa colonies form whorls and tiers, with a rare tubular shape here and there. E. mammiformis colonies have flat plates as bases and form bent branches. E. horrida colonies are unique in that they have branches, shooting out of a plate-like base, that twist and bend. • Echinopora colors include amber, tan to dark brown, cream, green, mustard yellow, pink, and purple; with the center of the corallite having contrasting colors.
  40. 40. Maze Brain Coral • The Maze Brain Coral Platygyra sp. has beautifully contrasting walls and valleys. In the wild they form massive colonies that can be either flat or dome shaped. • The Platygyra genus are commonly meandroid, meaning they develop valleys. On occasion they may also have cerioid, meaning shared walls, mixed in. • The Brain Maze Coral or Maze Coral P. lamellina is the most common species in the trade, which could be due to its abundance in the shallower waters. P. daedalea is another commonly available species. Others include P. sinensis and P. pini. • This genus is moderate to care for. They are not as hardy as other members of the Flaviidae family, and are more likely to bleach and have tissue loss from stress. However once acclimated, if you provide these corals with regular feedings, they will grow quickly. The Platygyra genus has been propagated in captivity on local levels.
  41. 41. Disk Coral • The Disk Corals from the Fungia genus are quite hardy creatures that easily move about on the substrate. • They can actually move up to 12" per day (30 cm). They have also been known to climb slight slopes up to a 30 degree angle, and to right themselves if they get flipped over. • The Disk Coral Fungia sp. is a free-living creature that is quite mobile. They will travel by inflating their tissue and using current to move. • They have saucer to dome shapes that can be dented or elongated. • All species of Fungia have wide slit-like mouths, often housing various parasites. • They can have one mouth or more mouths with long septa that radiate from the center all the way to the end. Some septa start further back and are smaller than the main ones • Fungia spp. have short tapering tentacles, which in the wild retract during the day, coming out only at night. • Tentacles are nestled between the blade-like septal teeth that radiate out from the center. When young the Fungia spp. are connected with a stalk to rock work. Over time as the coral develops, the stalk gradually weakens and breaks, leaving a central scar. The scar is then gradually overgrown. • The Disk Coral comes in a wide array of colors that make them an attractive addition to your display. They are most commonly green or purple, but just name the color and the Fungia genus comes in it. Some of the more common Fungia spp. are described here:
  42. 42. Plate Coral • The Plate Coral H. actiniformis is a free-living polyp whose tentacles are so long they hide their skeletal structure. They can be mistaken as an anemone at first glance. Their shape can be oval or round, and with or without an arch in the middle. They can get up to 8" (20 cm) across, and the mouth can be 1" (3 cm) wide. Lifespan is unknown. • The Long Tentacle Plate Coral is not quite as colorful as the Fungia genus. They all have striped oral discs or mouths. Their base color can be olive, brown, dark purple, yellow, or green with tentacles that have contrasting tips that are white, pink, yellow, grayish violet, green or white.
  43. 43. Open Brain Coral • Open Brain Coral Trachyphyllia geoffroyi - was described by Audouin in 1826. • The Open Brain Coral T. geoffroyi forms free-living polyps that have valleys with their own corallite walls. • They can have up to 3 separate mouths, reaching up to just over 3" (8 cm) across, but the width of their valleys is just under 1/2" (10 mm) across. • Their septa, or the "teeth" on the inside of the corallite wall, are large and form a ridging look under the flesh. • The base of the coral is cone shaped, giving away its naturally soft substrate habitat. Their polyps are large fleshy mantles, and they come in a variety of bright colors including yellow, red, pink, brown, blue or green.
  44. 44. Pacific Rose Coral • Pacific Rose Coral Trachyphyllia radiata - has been bounced around a bit. It had previously been classified in its own genus as Wellsophyllia radiata, then reclassified to the Trachyphyllia genus. There is still ongoing discussion on where it should be classified. It can be found referred to as one or the other, but generally as Trachyphyllia radiata. • The Pacific Rose Coral T. radiata is very much like the Open Brain Coral T. geoffroyi, but it is always distinctly round rather than flat, and usually more folded in form. • They grow in colonies once mature. • The T. geoffroyi forms free-living polyps that have valleys with their own corallite walls, while the walls on the T. radiata are fused. • The Pacific Rose coral also has a flattened bottom is attached to hard substrate, rather than the cone-shaped bottom found on the T. geoffroyi used to anchor itself into soft substrates. • Their polyps are large fleshy mantles, and they come in varying shades of brilliant metallic greens, reds, and pinks. Trachyphyllia corals can have up to 3 separate mouths, reaching up to just over 3" (8 cm) across, but the width of the valleys are just under 1/2" (10 mm) across. The septa, or the "teeth" on the inside of the corallite wall, are large and form a ridging look under the flesh. The Trachyphyllia corals feed at night, extending polyp tentacles. They can be long- lived in captivity, but their actual life span is unknown.
  45. 45. Importance of corals • Help in conserving aquatic biodiversity. • Having symbiotic relationship with so many fishes, algae and crustaceans. • Coral reefs provide medical benefits for humans. • Coral skeletons are also commonly used for bone grafting in humans. • The global trade of marine ornamentals has been a rapidly expanding industry involving numerous countries worldwide. • Provide aesthetic benefit to humans in terms of their beauty of colour and form. • In climate research - The annual growth bands in bamboo corals allow geologists to construct year- by-year chronologies. • Deep sea bamboo coral - may be among the first organisms to display the effects of ocean acidification. They produce growth rings similar to those of tree, and can provide a view of changes in the condition in the deep sea over time.
  46. 46. Threats • Coral reefs are dying around the world due to global warming, pollution, Sedimentation, Dredging, ocean acidification, Coral diseases, starfish infestation, blast fishing & Tourism etc. • In El Nino-year 2010, reports show global coral bleaching reached its worst level since another El Nino year, 1998, when 16 percent of the world's reefs died as a result of increased water temperature. • In Indonesia's Aceh province, surveys showed some 80 percent of bleached corals died. • General estimates show approximately 10% of the world's coral reefs are dead. • About 60% of the world's reefs are at risk due to destructive, human-related activities. • The threat to the health of reefs is particularly strong in Southeast Asia, where 80% of reefs are endangered.
  47. 47. Protection • Identification of marine protected areas and their demarcation and protection. • Coral Reef Monitoring Action Plans prepared and launched. • Other significant international activities such as the Coral Reef Degradation in the Indian Ocean (CORDIP), India–Australia Training and capacity building programme (IATCB), initiated. • National wide mapping of coastal areas by remote sensing techniques combined with land surveys to assess the rate of degradation initiated. • Workshops, symposia, seminars and national conferences have discussed the problems of coral reefs and have made several recommendations for their conservation and management. • In addition several national and state level committees with a view to protecting our reefs have been formulated.
  48. 48. Restoration Biologically: • Coral aquaculture, also known as coral farming or coral gardening, is showing promise as a potentially effective tool for restoring coral reefs. Physically: • Efforts to expand the size and number of coral reefs generally involve supplying substrate to allow more corals to find a home. • Substrate materials include discarded vehicle tires, scuttled ships, subway cars, and formed concrete, such as reef balls.
  49. 49. References • Bayer, F. M. 1956. Octocorallia. Pp. F166-F230 in: R. C. Moore (ed.), Treatise on Invertebrate Paleontology Part F: Coelenterata. Geological Society of America and University of Kansas Press, Lawrence. • Bayer, F. M., M. Grasshoff, and J. Verseveldt. 1983. Illustrated trilingual glossary of morphological and anatomical terms applied to Octocorallia. E. J. Brill / Dr. W.Backhuys, Leiden. 75 pp. • Berntson, E. A., S. C. France, and L. S. Mullineaux. 1999. Phylogenetic relationships within the Class Anthozoa (Phylum Cnidaria) based on nuclear 18S rDNA sequences. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 13: 417-433. • Kenji Konishi, "Alcyonarian spiculite: the limestone of soft corals", 1981; M.-S. Jeng, H.-D. Huang, C.- F. Dai, Y.-C. Hsiao and Y. Benayahu. (15 May 2011), "Sclerite calcification and reef-building in the fleshy octocoral genus Sinularia (Octocorallia: Alcyonacea)", Earth and Environmental Science, Coral Reefs doi:10.1007/s00338-011-0765-z. • • updated.pdf