Heteropora millepora Ehrenberg, 1834, Indian Ocean.
OTHER COMMON NAMES None known.
Colonial; thick finger-like interlocking branches with upright branchlets form squat colonies. Branch surfaces appear scaly. Tissue color ranges from green with orange tips to bright salmon pink or blue.
Tropical and subtropical Indo-Pacific waters, from Sri Lanka and Thailand east to the Marshall Islands and Tonga, including Australia.
Common on reef flats, lagoons, and upper reef slopes less than 10 ft (3 m) deep.
Mass spawning is timed to occur between 4 and 8 days following a full moon.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Feeds on minute zooplankton and derives nutrition from zooxanthellae harbored within cells lining the digestive cavity.
Hermaphroditic polyps release bundles containing both sperm and eggs that float to the sea surface, where they break open and fertilization occurs. Planula larva may be competent to settle 4-5 days after fertilization. Asexual reproduction occurs by fragmentation of colony branches.
All scleractinian corals are listed in CITES Appendix II. SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Common reef-builder of Indo-Pacific coral reefs. ♦
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