831 species

Acropora muricata

(Linnaeus, 1758)


Oken, 1815

Characters: Colonies are arborescent, with cylindrical branches. They usually form thickets and may form single species stands over 10 metres across. In shallow water branches are short and compact, while in deeper water colonies have more open branches. Axial corallites are exsert. Radial corallites are tubular. They may be similar or varied in size, and uniformly or irregularly distributed.

Colour: Usually cream, brown or blue, generally with pale branch ends.

Similar Species: Acropora teres, A. abrolhosensis and A. copiosa. See also A. intermedia, which has rasp-like radial corallites and A. grandis.

Habitat: Reef slopes and lagoons.

Abundance: Common and frequently a dominant species.

Taxonomic Note: A species complex. See Wallace (1999) for taxonomic history. Formerly widely known as Acropora formosa this change is supported here in the interests of stability.

COTW History since Veron (2000a)
  • Family: All families are currently under review
  • Genus/species: New name for existing species. Acropora formosa (Dana, 1846) (including commentary and illustrations) has become a synonym of Acropora muricata (Linnaeus, 1758)