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Indo-Pacific coral species I.D.

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I am always fascinated with the patterns of coral polyps and then struggle to I.D. the darn things, as I have no idea as to the form of the coral later, as I am shooting so small. I think the second one is a Turbinaria sp., but a second opinion and any guess on the first one would be useful.

 

Cheers,

Marli

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Sorry, Marli, I missed the thread earlier.

 

Yes, I agree the second is likely to be Turbinaria without seeing the whole colony it would be difficult to determine the species. Even when shooting macro it is sometimes a good idea to take a shot from a bit further away. Even if the shot is of poor quality, it could be useful for identification.

 

How much magnification is there in the first one? If the magnification is high, it could be Montipora. If the magnification is not huge, I suggest Echinophyllia. Again seeing a shot of the whole colony would help a lot.

 

By the way, the first shot is stunning.

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I sent a link to Russell Kelley at Coral Hub. He had a quick look but couldn't nail species because he wasn't with his reference materials. He said:

 

"The coral with a smooth surface between the polyps / corallites is Turbinaria.

 

The one with fine spinules / dots between the polyps / corallites is Echinopora.

 

I would predict that both these corals we're thin vases / plates / crusts."

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Hi Marlie

 

Nick asked me to drop by and comment. I did the initial ID on my iPhone in the veggie section of the supermarket.

 

Now that I'm on the big screen I'm happier to put a species name on them - although if it really matters a colony shot should always be taken. (Gotta carry that big wide angle rig as well - dontchya hate it!)

 

Anyhoo:

 

The one with fine spinules / dots between the polyps / corallites is Echinopora lamellosa

 

 

The coral with a smooth surface between the polyps / corallites is probably Turbinaria stellulata

 

Learning to ID corals underwater requires using a strange combination of wide view and close up characters to exclude the other species. It can also sometimes require a measure of the "force".

 

Without a wide shot of the Turbinaria I would keep the ID as provisional.

 

If you are really interested in underwater coral ID you should check out the Indo Pacific Coral Finder at http://www.byoguides.com It's a practical underwater guide that deals with the chaos of growth form variation shown by corals. You interrogate it by shape and form and it send you to a page of look-alikes where you let your eyes do the work instead of trying to understand latin based text descriptions.

 

If I recall correctly you will find an example of Turbinaria stellulata behaving badly in on of my free training movies on the Coral Hub http://www.coralhub.info

 

Check out: http://www.coralhub.info/learn/coral-finde...ion-3-hardcore/

 

Cheers

 

Russell Kelley

 

Author Indo Pacific Coral Finder

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Wow,

So glad I bumped this request. Thanks to all for the great help.

 

Cheers,

Marli

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