Acropora millepora is a type of coral. Like all coral, it lives in the ocean. But this one is special.
Acropora millepora is native to the western Indo-Pacific part of the world. That means it’s found in the waters from Africa’s east coast to the coasts of Japan and Australia.
Acropora millepora was first described in 1834. Christian Gottfried Ehrenberg gave it its scientific name.
What Does Acropora millepora Look Like?
Acropora millepora is a small coral that lives in groups. It grows short, round branches.
Its radial corallites, or the tiny cups that house the coral’s polyps, are all the same size. They have projecting lower rims, which makes them look like scales.
The color of Acropora millepora coral can vary. It can be green with orange-tipped branches, pale pink, orange, plain green, or even blue.
Where Can We Find Acropora millepora?
Acropora millepora is common in the western and central Indo-Pacific. It’s found from the Red Sea, Kenya, and South Africa to India, Malaysia, Japan, Indonesia, and Australia.
Acropora millepora coral prefers shallow water. It’s found between two and twelve meters deep. It’s often found on reef flats, upper reef slopes, and lagoons.
What Is the Acropora millepora’s Ecology?
Acropora millepora is a zooxanthellate species of coral. That’s a big word, but it just means that it works with tiny plant-like organisms called dinoflagellates.
These dinoflagellates live in the Acropora millepora coral’s tissues and help it survive.
The Acropora millepora coral’s larvae, or baby corals, like to settle on vertical surfaces. They also like to settle on encrusting coralline algae.
What Are the Threats to Acropora millepora?
The biggest threat to Acropora millepora is the destruction of its home, the coral reefs.
Even though Acropora millepora coral is quite common, it’s a shallow-water species. That makes it more likely to get bleached or catch coral diseases. It’s also collected for the reef aquarium trade.
Plus, it’s expected that rising sea temperatures and ocean acidification will harm Acropora millepora. Because of all these threats, the IUCN has listed Acropora millepora as being ‘Near Threatened’.
What Is Acropora Millepora’s Geographic Range?
The genus Acropora, which includes Acropora millepora, dominates the coral reefs of the Indian and western Pacific oceans. This particular species is known to occur throughout this region.
Acropora millepora is found in shallow tropical waters from South Africa north to the Red Sea, east through the tropical western Pacific.
What Is Acropora millepora’s Habitat Like?
Many reefs with a lot of coral cover have surprisingly murky conditions. This suggests that habitats with turbid conditions are not necessarily bad for coral.
However, sedimentation can be a problem. High sedimentation lowers coral diversity and allows the habitat to become dominated by sediment-resistant species.
What Are the Physical Features of Acropora millepora?
Acropora millepora is a hard coral. It grows mostly vertically, which leads to a bushy shape.
The polyps extend from vertical branch tips on an average of 1.2 to 1.5 cm. These polyps are nonreproductive. However, most of the polyps on the sides are reproductive.
How Does Acropora millepora Reproduce?
Acropora millepora can reproduce in two ways: sexually and asexually.
Sexually, it reproduces in an event called ‘mass spawning’. This happens once a year, around 3 nights in early summer when the moon is nearly full.
Asexually, it reproduces by fragmentation. This means parts of the Acropora millepora coral break off and grow into new corals.
What Does Acropora Millepora Eat?
The main food for Acropora millepora comes from their symbiosis with unicellular algae. The algae provide the coral with the energy it needs through photosynthesis.
But the Acropora millepora coral can also capture and ingest particulate food from varied sources, including phytoplankton, zooplankton, and bacteria.
What Are the Predators of Acropora Millepora?
The major predator of Acropora millepora is the crown-of-thorns starfish. This starfish is regarded as a specialist corallivore. It means it mainly eats corals.
In fact, Acropora millepora is its most preferred prey.
What Is the Importance of Acropora Millepora for Humans?
Coral, like Acropora millepora, is important for us humans. It increases the diversity of fish which we use both for fun and for business.
Acropora millepora also provides a beautiful reef for us to enjoy.
Acropora millepora Characteristics