Coral of the Moment

Discover behind-the-scenes stories about selected corals by our members.

Montipora albanesei

Author: Andrew Baird Species: Montipora albanesei sp. nov. Project Phoenix members are in the field chasing topotypes and discovering new species. Yesterday, while in the lagoon of Cocos Keeling Island, we came across fields of Montipora including at least 3 species we have never seen before. If these do turn out to be new, we plan to … Continue reading Montipora albanesei

Plesiastraea proximans

Author: Andrew Baird Species: Plesiastraea proximans Dennant, 1904 The use of types in taxonomy does present some problems. For example, in many older works the catalogue number of the specimen on which the species description was based is not listed, and in some situations it is not even clear which museum the specimen was deposited … Continue reading Plesiastraea proximans

Pavona duerdeni

Author: Tom Bridge Species: Pavona duerdeni Vaughan 1907 Pavona duerdeni is regarded as a distinctive species. The intricate thamnasteroid (or ‘star-shaped) corallites (see Rosen 1986) of this species clearly identify it as a member of the family Agariciidae, but the most distinctive feature of the species, at least as interpreted in recent decades (e.g. Veron … Continue reading Pavona duerdeni

Acropora torresiana

Author: Andrew Baird Species: Acropora torresiana Veron 2000 One of the many difficulties in sorting coral taxonomy is the often contradictory information attached to the type material. For example, Acropora torresiana was officially named by Charlie Veron in 2000 with the type location given as the “Torres Strait”. Also complicating the issue is the fact … Continue reading Acropora torresiana

Blastopathes medusa

Author: Jeremy Horowitz Species: Blastopathes medusa Horowitz 2020 This large (> 1 m tall) and strange yet elegant and mythology-inspiring black coral is the newest addition to the Order Antipathidae. This species is described from, and dominates sandy habitats situated adjacent to patchy shallow and mesophotic coral reefs in Kimbe Bay, Papua New Guinea. The … Continue reading Blastopathes medusa