831 species

Acropora forskali

(Ehrenberg, 1834)


Oken, 1815

Characters: Colonies consist of compact to open branches which are usually twisted into irregular shapes. Sub-branches are highly variable in number. Axial corallites are tubular; incipient axial corallites occur on branch sides. Radial corallites are irregular, immersed to tubular, giving branch surfaces a rough appearance. Tentacles are often extended during the day.

Colour: Usually grey.

Similar Species: Acropora horrida, which has similar rough branches but corallites are smaller, without the development of many incipient axial corallites. See also A. lutkeni.

Habitat: Shallow reef environments.

Abundance: Uncommon.

Taxonomic Note: Wallace (1999) considered this species as 'unresolved', having viewed what was possibly the holotype specimen in the MNB. At least three type specimens exist in MNB, including specimen 897 to which Wallace refers. According to Scheer and Pillai (1983), specimen 898 is actually Acropora squarrosa and an A. squarrosa type specimen also labelled 898 is A. forskali. Nomenclature aside, this species has consistent, characteristic differences in corallite form from any other species throughout its western Indian Ocean distribution range.

Taxonomic References: Veron (2000a);

COTW History since Veron (2000a)
  • Family: All families are currently under review
  • Genus/species: No change