Ryan Photographic - Scleractinia - Stony Corals


Invertebrates
Chordates
Photo Library
Search

 

Order Scleractinia

The order Scleractinia contains two groups - the colonial species which are largely responsible for coral reef formation and which contain symbiotic photosynthetic zooxanthellae and the solitary corals. This requirement for light by their symbiotic partners lmits the depth to which colonial species can grow. The other group, the solitary corals, may grow on coral reefs but as they lack photosynthetic symbionts have no limits on the depths at which they can thrive. As a result they are found in all of the world's oceans - even around Antarctica.

Like all other cnidarians the polyps are equipped with stinging cells. The solitary corals rely on these for food capture while the reef-forming corals utilize them to varying degrees.

It used to be considered that stony corals only reproduced asexually. We now know that most stony corals on coral reefs reproduce sexually as well. They indulge in a mass spawning - many species of coral release eggs and sperm into the water at the same time. This "big bang" strategy overwhelms the local predators who gorge on this bounty until they can eat no more. The surviving fertilized eggs rapidly develop into planula larvae which settle out onto the bottom and transform into polyps. Almost immediately they start to secrete a limestone skeleton and asexually produce more polyps. Most colonies are relatively slow growing and some corals may be several hundred years old. Reef-forming corals are very sensitive to changes in water temperature and to silt in the water. As a result, human activity on land often leads to stress or death of coral colonies. As the oceans continue to warm up thanks to human production of greenhouse gases some corals undergo the phenomenon of "coral bleaching" in which they kick out their symbiotic algae. It is the algae that provide the color and so the white skeleton becomes clearly visible through the now transparent polyp. Should the temperatures remain elevated the polyps jump ship and leave the skeleton (polyp bailout). When this happens the coral dies. If temperatures drop quickly enough the coral may survive and eventually take new zooxanthellae on board.

I am not a coral expert. These identifications are tentative ...

Enjoy the photos. The future of coral reefs is bleak.

 

Acropora cerealis

Acropora cerealis Raja Ampat West Papua

CNID 1627 Acropora cerealis Raja Ampat West Papua

Acropora formosa

Acropora formosa IMG_3256, Kadavu, Fiji

CNID 3256 Acropora formosa, Kadavu, Fiji

Acropora hyacinthus

Acropora (hyacinthus) (Acroporidae), Kadavu, Fiji

CNID 7077 Acropora hyacinthus? Kadavu, Fiji

Acropora robusta

Acropora robusta large colony (Acoporidae) Kadavu, Fiji

CNID 7064 Acropora robusta large colony, Kadavu, Fiji

Acropora species

Acropora IMG_3493, Matamanoa, Fiji

CNID 3493 Acropora species Matamanoa, Fij.

Acropora species 2

Acropora, IMG_3255, Kadavu, Fiji

CNID 3255 Acropora species 2, Kadavu, Fiji.

Acropora species 3

Acropora IMG_3493, Matamanoa, Fiji, 2007.jpg

CNID 3493 Acropora species 3, Matamanoa, Fiji.

Acropora species 4

Acropora, IMG_3434, Matamanoa, Fiji, 2007.jpg

CNID 3434 Acropora species 4 Matamanoa, Fiji.

Coral scene, Matamanoa, Fiji, 2007 copy.jpg

CNID 0015 Coral scene, Matamanoa, Fiji. Various Acropora coral.

Acropora species 5

Acropora, IMG_3444,Matamanoa, Fiji, 2007.jpg

CNID 3444 Acropora species 5, Matamanoa, Fiji.

Acropora tenuis

Acropora tenuis, Matamanoa, Fiji

CNID 0009 Acropora tenuis, Matamanoa, Fiji

Agaricia agaricites Lettuce coral

Agaricia agaricites (maybe), Glover's Reef,  Belize

CNID 3440 Agaricia agaricites (maybe), Glover's Reef, Belize.

Ceratotrochus species

Ceratotrochus species, Solitary coral, Sea of Cortez

CNID 5920 Ceratotrochus species, Solitary coral, Sea of Cortez.

Ctenactis albitentaculata Mushroom coral

Ctenactis albitentaculata (Order Fungiidae), Kadavu, Fiji 3825.jpg

CNID 3825 Ctenactis albitentaculata (Order Fungiidae), Kadavu, Fiji.

Ctenactis albitentaculata tentacle detail (Order Fungiidae), Kadavu, Fiji.jpg

CNID 0017 Ctenactis albitentaculata tentacle detail (Order Fungiidae), Kadavu, Fiji.

Diploria labyrinthiformis Brain coral

Diploria  labyrinthiformis Brain coral detail Belize

CNID 0010 Diploria labyrinthiformis Brain coral detail Belize.

Euphyllia ancora

Euphyllia ancora Kri Eco, Raja Ampat

CNID 8496 Euphyllia ancora Kri Eco, Raja Ampat.

Euphyllia glabrescens

Euphyllia glabrescens Kri Eco, Raja Ampat

CNID 8506 Euphyllia glabrescens Kri Eco, Raja Ampat.

Favites species

Favites species Raja Ampat West Papua

CNID 2678 Favites species Raja Ampat West Papua.

Galaxea species

Galaxea coral colonyTaveuni,  Fiji

CNID 4412 Galaxea coral colony Taveuni, Fiji.

Halomitra species

Halomitra species, Taveuni, Fiji

CNID 4852 Halomitra species, Taveuni, Fiji.

Isophyllia sinuosa

Isophyllia sinuosa (Mussidae) Glover's Reef, Belize

CNID 3251 Isophyllia sinuosa (Mussidae) Glover's Reef, Belize.

Madracis decactis

Madracis decactis Hard coral, Glover's Reef, Belize

CNID 3193 Madracis decactis Hard coral, Glover's Reef, Belize.

Madracis senaria

Madracis senaria (Astrocoeniidae) Glover's Reef, Belize

CNID 3220 Madracis senaria (Astrocoeniidae) Glover's Reef, Belize.

Mussa angulosa Giant polyp coral

Mussa angulosa Giant polyp coral Belize

CNID 0011 Mussa angulosa Giant polyp coral Belize.

Plerogyra sinuosa Bubble coral

Plerogyra sinuosa Bubble coral

CNID 0012 Plerogyra sinuosa Bubble coral, Raja Ampat.

Pocillopora species

Pocillopora species

CNID 3605 Pocillopora species (Pocilloporidae) Kadavu, Fiji

Pocillopora species 2

Pocillopora coral species  Kadavu, Fiji

CNID 3233 Pocillopora coral species 2 Kadavu, Fiji.

Pocillopora species 3

Pocillopora species

CNID 7082 Pocillopora species 3, Kadavu, Fiji

Scolymia cubensis Artichoke solitary coral

Scolymia cubensis, solitary coral Glover's Reef,  Belize

CNID 3342 Scolymia cubensis, Artichoke solitary coral Glover's Reef, Belize

Seriatopora species

Seriatopora Taveuni,  Fiji

CNID 4504 Seriatopora species Taveuni, Fiji.

Symphyllia species

Symphyllia species, Raja Ampat, West Papua

CNID 2616 Symphyllia species, Raja Ampat, West Papua.

Tubastraea faulkineri?

tubastrea.

CNID 0556 Tubastraea cf faulkineri, Kri, Raja Ampat, West Papua.

Tubastrea micrantha

Tubastrea micrantha.jpg

CNID 0014 Tubastrea micrantha

Tubastraea species

Tubastraea cf.jpg

CNID 0013 Tubastraea species, Kri Eco, Raja Ampat.

Tubastraea, Raja Ampat, West Papua

CNID 1891 Tubastraea species, Raja Ampat, West Papua .

Turbinaria frondens Yellow cup coral

Turbinaria cf frondens

CNID 3263 Turbinaria frondens Yellow cup coral, Kadavu, Fiji.

Turbinaria cf frondens

CNID 3270 Turbinaria frondens Yellow cup coral, Kadavu, Fiji.

Turbinaria cf frondens

CNID 3266 Turbinaria frondens Yellow cup coral, Kadavu, Fiji.

Turbinaria cf frondens

CNID 3279 Turbinaria frondens Yellow cup coral, Kadavu, Fiji.

 

 
[Previous]

Cnidaria

[Next]

 

[Up]

 Photo Library

[Home]  Home Page
[Contents]  Dr Paddy Ryan Contents
[Contact]  Contact Paddy

 

Ryan Photographic, 2802 East 132nd Circle, Thornton, CO  80241  USA  Phone 303-919-7145