Acropora sirikitiae is the newest species of the popular small polyp stony coral genus Acropora to be described since Acropora rongelapensis. Discovered growing in Western Thailand, Acropora sirikitiae is a medium branched staghorn with appressed radial corallites. Carden Wallace, the world’s preeminent expert on staghorn corals named Acropora sirikitiae in honour of Her Majesty Queen Sirikit, Queen Regent of Thailand. The new staghorn coral is distinguished by having an indeterminate growth form which is strongly affected by its environment with radial corallites that have a variable appearance from the tip to the base of the branch.
We woudln’t expect a new species of Acropora to be described from the relatively well-travelled and often-dived reefs of Thailand but if Acropora sirkitiae can be discovered in this part of the world, imagine how many more species have yet to be identified where divers rarely go. Acropora sirikitiae is not even rare, it’s actually common on many reefs of western Thailand and it could be discovered in other parts of the world as well.