Montipora aequituberculata

…a species of “Rice Coral” (Montipora spp.) which is native to the Indo-Pacific region.  Its range extends from the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden, through the Indian Ocean to Japan, the East China Sea, Australia and the west and central Pacific.M. aequituberculata is typically seen on the upper parts of reef slopes, where it is often one of the predominant species. Like many other coral species, M. aequituberculata  possesses zooxanthellae from which it obtains most of its nutritional needs. 

Although it is listed as least concern M. aequituberculata (like many other coral species) faces threats due to habitat destruction and rising sea temperatures which can cause coral bleaching. 


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Image: USFWS


Acropora cytherea

…a species of table coral that is widespread throughout the Indo-Pacific, ranging from the Red Sea to the Indian Ocean to Australia, Japan and Hawaii. A.cytherea typically inhabits shallow, tropical reefs and is often found on subtidal reef slopes and submerged reefs. Several species of crabs are obligate associates of this species and will live on the corals, feeding on their tissue but protecting them from predators. The crabs are low in number and the coral will suffer little harm. 



Images: Charlie Veron and Dwayne Meadows

Leaf Plate Montipora (Montipora capricornis)

…also sometimes known as the Vase Coral or Cap Coral, the leaf plate coral is a species of small poly Acroporid stony coral which is common in the Indian and Pacific oceans, and in reefs in the Red Sea. Leaf Plate Montipora typically inhabit the top half of the reef where photosynthesis can occur as they rely partially on zooxanthellae for nourishment. 


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Image: Grendelkhan