Caribbean Coral Diares: Madracis auretenra

Madracis auretenra Madracis auretenra is a common coral in the Caribbean which until 2007 used to be called Madracis mirabilis. Colonies form dense hemispherical clumps that can be several metres across. The ends of each branch are covered in living tissue but it…

Caribbean Coral Diaries: Agaricia tenuifolia

Undaria Agaricia tenuifolia Undaria Agaricia tenuifolia was a coral that was never on my radar until I visited Tela Honduras. In Tela, Agaricia covers the top of shallow coral ridges growing like a weed. This coral aggressively competes for space on the reef. The genus Undaria…

Caribbean Coral Diaries: Acropora palmata

Acropora palmata Acropora palmata is the king of all Caribbean corals. Acropora palmata grows into thick robust branches and is the most important reef-building species in the Caribbean. Like it’s thinner cousin, Acropora cervicornis, palmata colonies provide complex habitat for juvenile fish. As…

Caribbean Coral Diaries: Isophyllastrea rigida

Isophyllastrea rigida Isophyllastrea rigida is a distinct species of coral that forms polygon hemispheres or domes. Although distinct this coral is still uncommon and you will need a keen eye to identify this species. The fleshy ridges are golden brown and the center of…

Caribbean Coral Diaries: Acropora cervicornis

Acropora cervicornis Acropora cervicornis is an iconic Caribbean coral and one every scuba diver should know how to identify. In the Caribbean, there are three species of Acropora which are essential for creating complex habitats and buffering the coastline. Acropora cervicornis grows into cylindrical branches…

Caribbean Coral Diaries: Meandrina jacksoni

Meandrina jacksoni could easily be mistaken for Meandrina meandrites Maze Coral, but the pale yellow color and encrusting shape is what defines this species. Meandrina corals have unique ridges with prominent septa from the top of the ridge to the center of the valley.…

Caribbean Coral Diaries: Scolymia lacera

Surprise! I’m a coral addict!! I hope I’m not overdoing it with my enthusiasm for corals, but it’s about to get a whole ‘nother level of fangirl for Scolymia lacera. If you’re like me, every time you get it the…

Caribbean Coral Diaries: Oculina diffusa

Oculina diffusa Oculina diffusa is a coral we never thought we would see in person! However, on a recent trip to Honduras, we found several colonies in the least expected habitat Oculina is a thin delicate branching species of coral…

Caribbean Coral Diaries: Madracis decactis

Madracis decactis Madracis is an attractive species of coral often covered in stout furry polyps. This species, Madracis decactis, grows into compact yellow lobes and is common, although not abundant. Juvenile colonies start by encrusting onto rocks before forming short lobes or branches. As…

Caribbean Coral Diaries: Siderastrea siderea

Siderastrea siderea Siderastrea is one of the easiest corals to identify in the Caribbean, and if you’ve ever been diving or snorkeling chances are you would have found this species. There are two species of Siderastrea in the Caribbean and Siderastrea siderea…