seen? These corals are often seen on many of our Southern
shores. As a group, various Montipora species are found from
deep water to clear reefs as well as lagoons with murky waters. Some
species are relatively fast growing.
Features: Colonies may
be plate-like, branching, encrusting to somewhat spherical. Sometimes,
the same species may have different growth forms, even one colony
may have different shapes. In branching forms, the branch tips are
usually white and smooth, lacking polyps. In plate-like forms, the
edges usually paler, smooth and lacking polyps.
Corallites and polyps are tiny (0.2-0.5cm or smaller). Polyps look
like tiny sea anemones, with short body column and short tentacles.
When expanded, the tiny polyps of some species give a fuzzy appearance.
Thus, they are sometimes called velvet corals. But in other species,
the polyps are so tiny that the colony appears smooth and stony. The
polyps are usually only extended at night.
There are probably several different species on these pages.
It's hard to distinguish them without close examination of small features.
On this website, they are grouped by large external features for convenience
Role in the habitat: Montipora
corals are among the important building blocks of a reef. Together
with Acropora coral (Acropora sp.),
another member of the Family Acroporidae, montipora corals account
for one-third of reef-building coral species. Those with branching
forms provide shelter for all kinds of animals including seahorses,
tiny clams and all kinds of crabs.
Human uses: Montipora corals are
taken from the wild for the live aquarium trade and wild colonies
are often taken from the natural reefs to supply this demand. There
are efforts to cultivate some of the hardier, faster-growing Montipora
species for the live aquarium trade so as to reduce collection pressure
from the wild. Although captive bred corals are healthier and easier
to care for than wild collected specimens, captive bred corals are
Status and threats: Some of our
Montipora corals are listed as threatened on the IUCN
global listing. Like other creatures of the intertidal zone, they
are affected by human activities such as reclamation and pollution.
Trampling by careless visitors, and over-collection by hobbyists also
have an impact on local populations.
in a branching montipora.
Sisters Islands, Nov 03
gun shrimp in a branching montipora.
clams wedged among the branches.
Sisters Island, Dec 05
species recorded for Singapore
Danwei Huang, Karenne P. P. Tun, L. M Chou and Peter A. Todd. 30 Dec
2009. An inventory of zooxanthellate sclerectinian corals in Singapore
including 33 new records, **the species found on many shores in
*Groups based on in Veron, Jen. 2000. Corals of the World.
in red are those listed as threatened
on the IUCN global list.
corals seen awaiting identification
species are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience
1: Plate-like with conspicuously radiating coenostreum ridge
Group 2: Plate-like colony (laminar) without conspicuous ridges
in the area between the corallites (coenosteum)
Montipora aequituberculata** (Vulnerable)
Montipora capricornis (Vulnerable)
Group 3: Encrusting or boulder-shaped (massive) with prominent
bumps on the area between the corallites (prominent coenosteum
Group 4: Encrusting or boulder-shaped (massive) with little
bumps grouped around the corallite (prominent thecal papillae)
Montipora corbettensis (Vulnerable)
Montipora efflorescens (Near Threatened)
Montipora peltiformis (Near Threatened)
Group 5: Encrusting or boulder-shaped (massive) without
tiny bumps (without exsert papillae)
Group 6: Encrusting with very small corallites
Group 7: With funnel-shaped (faveolate) corallites
Montipora angulata (Vulnerable)
Montipora venosa (Near Threatened)
Group 8: With large bumps on the area between the corallites
(large coenosteum tuberculate forming verrucae)
Group 10: Forming fine branches with a smooth area between
the corallites (coenosteum)
Group 11: Forming fine branches with coenosteum ridges
stellata on Corals of the World online on the Australian
Institute of Marine Science website: Technical fact sheet.
stellata on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species website:
Technical fact sheet.
on Reef Corals of the Indo-Malayan Seas, the Marine Species Identification
Portal: Technical fact sheet.
stellata on SeaLife Base: Technical fact sheets.
- Danwei Huang,
Karenne P. P. Tun, L. M Chou and Peter A. Todd. 30 Dec 2009. An
inventory of zooxanthellate sclerectinian corals in Singapore
including 33 new records (pdf). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology
Supplement No. 22: 69-80.
- Veron, Jen.
of the World
Australian Institute of Marine Science, Australia. 3 volumes.
- Chou, L.
M., 1998. A
Guide to the Coral Reef Life of Singapore. Singapore Science
Centre. 128 pages.
Harry and Daniel Knop. 2005. Corals:
Indo-Pacific Field Guide
IKAN-Unterwasserachiv, Frankfurt. 305 pp.
Eric H. 2001. Aquarium
Corals: Selection, Husbandry and Natural History
T.F. H Publications. 464 pp
- Wee Y.C.
and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore.
National Council on the Environment. 163pp.
- Ng, P. K.
L. & Y. C. Wee, 1994. The
Singapore Red Data Book: Threatened Plants and Animals of Singapore.
The Nature Society (Singapore), Singapore. 343 pp.