|This beautiful Acropora came from the farm in Vanuatu several years ago. It is in a group of corals that includes Acropora gemmifera. This is a group of Acropora that form digitate clumps with finger like branches. This group also includes Acropora humilis , Acropora globiceps, and Acropora monticulosa.
This group of coral often occurs where they are exposed to strong wave action. I believe this coral is Acropora gemmifera because it has a prominent axial corallites and radial corallites that are two distinct difference sizes. The radial corallites grow larger near the base of the coral. You can see many incipient axial corallites that will form branches after the coral is cut .
If this coral is left to grow it will form a round clump with many large branches. We have found the best way to produce fragments from this type of coral is to cut the branches when they are over 1 in. long. The small cut branches are mounted on their sides. By gluing the fragments parallel to the bottom of the tank you can force the incipient axial corallites to form a new mother colony.
The other large coral in this image is a beautiful Montiporas confusa that has grown to over 8 inches. This picture shows in detail how the tuberculae form coenosteum ridges that radiate out from the center of the coral. The coenosteum is that portion of the skeleton that is between the individual corallites. Different Montipora species can be identified by the shape of the projections (tuberculae) - if larger than single polyp or (papilllae) - if smaller than single polyp - that grow from the coenosteum.
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