Parent document
Major non-taxonomic subdivision of the genus Acropora and their morphological attributes (according to Veron)
Groups Species Group characteristics


A.palifera, A.cuenata, A.brueggemanni Several axial corallites, or no truly axial corallites due to the wedge-shaped to massive growth form, coenosteum with spinules, columnar, branching (thick w/ irregular cross-section or keel-like), encrusting. Growth morphology quite diverse even w/n the same reef;
A.humilis A.humilis, A.gemmifera, A.monticulosa, A.samoensis, Adigitifera, A.multiacuta Sturdy, sub- to digitate colonies, axial corallite flattened;
A.lovelli A.bushyensis, A.verweyi, A.glauca A very arbitrary group
A.robusta A.robusta, A.danai, A.palmerae, A.nobilis, A.polystoma Sturdy staghorns (sub-arborescent), similar radial but short and sharp edged corallites, coarse coenosteum;
A.formosa A.grandis, A.formosa, A.abrolhosensis, A.acuminata, A.valenciensi Open branches, the common staghorn of reef slopes and deeper reef flats (arborescent), corallites longer, tubular, near branch tips;
A.horrida A.micropthalmata, A.kirstyae, A.horrida, A.vaughani, A.austera Staghorn corals, arborescent or cespitose, small corallites, very common in PNG;
A.apsera A.aspera, A.pulchra, A.millepora High polymorphism with branches in (corymbose cushions, or thickets on reef flats, radial corallites w/o upper wall, lower wall with rounded or flaring lips;
A.selago A.tenuis, A.selago, A.donei, A.dendrum, A.yongei Branches thin and open, scale-like protruding radial corallites;
A.hyacinthus A.cytherea, A.microcladus, A.paniculata, A.hyacinthus, A.specifera, A.anthoceris Dominant group on reef crests and upper reef slopes, tabulate, plate-like colonies, fine anastomosing branches, small corallites;
A.latistella A.latistella, A.subulata, A.nana, A.aceleus, A.azurea Small appressed corallites, branchelets slender;
A.nasuta A.cerealis, A.nasuta, A.valida, A.secale, A.lutkeni One of the most dominant groups, bushy colonies in horizontal plane, narriform and identical corallites;
A.divaricata A.claratha, A.divaricata, A.solitaryensis, A.stoddarti Narriform corallites, coenosteum similar;
A.echinata A.echinata, A.subglabra, A.carduus, A.elseyi, A.longicyathus Colonies hispidose or bottlebrush, spiny and fragile, axial corallites long;
A.loripes A.loripes, A.granulosa, A.caroliniana, A.willisae Variable growth form, smooth coenosteum, long tapering axial corallites and upward pointing;
A.florida A.florida, A.sarmentosa Branches are terete or similar in thickness, corallites are tubular appressed, axial corallites round and large;


Colony shapes of Acropora species (according to Veron and Wallace, 1984)
wedge-shaped to massive