Species encyclopedia

Elkhorn Coral

Acropora sp.


Il existe près de 150 espèces de coraux du genre acropora. Ils forment des colonies très ramifiées ce qui leur permet d’avoir une croissance élevée (de l’ordre de plusieurs cm par an pour certaines espèces) contrairement aux formes plus massives.
Les colonies d’acropora atteignent selon les espèces quelques dizaines de cm à plus d’1 m de haut pour les colonies buissonnantes et jusqu’à 5 m de diamètre pour les espèces se développant en plateau.


Like all madrepore coral, acropora are colonies of animals called polyps. Each colony comprises a hard skeleton built by the animals and covered with living tissue.

Like many other corals, acropora feed on plankton. However, it gets most of its nutrients from microscopic algae called zooxanthellae, which live in the coral’s own tissues. A close symbiosis exists between the two. Under the effect of the sun’s rays and thanks to the carbon dioxide released by the coral, the algae grow on the surface of the polyps, bringing them nutrients that are vital to the construction of the skeleton.

There are probably close to 150 species of coral in the Acropora genus. These colonies have many branches, which allows them to grow rapidly (several cm a year for certain species), unlike other more massive forms.

To reduce the collection of acropora from its natural environment, the coral can be reproduced in an aquarium by means of cuttings. Fragments of colonies grown in tanks will quickly regain their former rate of growth.

Indo-Pacific area


Species encyclopedia

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