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Acropora aculeus

(Dana, 1846)

Colonies are corymbose clumps. Horizontal branches are thin and spreading. Upward-projecting branchlets are fine. Axial and radial corallites are not clearly differentiated at branchlet tips. Radial corallites on branch sides are nariform, with slightly flaring lips.

Colour: Usually grey or bright blue-green or yellow. Tips of branches may be yellow, lime green, pale blue or brown.

Habitat: Upper reef slopes and lagoons.

Abundance: Usually common in the central Indo-Pacific, uncommon elsewhere.

Similar species: Acropora elegantula

Taxonomic note: Source reference: Veron (2000). Taxonomic references: Veron and Wallace (1984), Wallace (1999). Additional identification guides: Veron (1986), Nishihira and Veron (1995).

Map displaying probable distribution of species. Points indicate recorded sightings from OBIS.
Acropora aculeus.  Papua New Guinea.  Large colony.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora aculeus. Papua New Guinea. Large colony. Charlie Veron.

Acropora aculeus.  Papua New Guinea.  Commonly cushion-like with slightly diverging branches and compact branchlets.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora aculeus. Papua New Guinea. Commonly cushion-like with slightly diverging branches and compact branchlets. Charlie Veron.

Acropora aculeus.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Colony surface.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora aculeus. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Colony surface. Charlie Veron.

Acropora aculeus.  Papua New Guinea.  Colony surface.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora aculeus. Papua New Guinea. Colony surface. Charlie Veron.

Acropora aculeus.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Corallite detail.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora aculeus. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Corallite detail. Charlie Veron.

Acropora aculeus.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Corallite detail.  Roger Steene.

Acropora aculeus. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Corallite detail. Roger Steene.

Acropora aculeus.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing branch tips.

Acropora aculeus. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing branch tips.

Acropora aculeus.  Vietnam.  Showing branching pattern.

Acropora aculeus. Vietnam. Showing branching pattern.

Acropora aculeus.  Ryukyu Islands, Japan.  Showing branching pattern.

Acropora aculeus. Ryukyu Islands, Japan. Showing branching pattern.

Acropora aculeus.  Ryukyu Islands, Japan.  Showing branch tips.

Acropora aculeus. Ryukyu Islands, Japan. Showing branch tips.

Acropora aculeus.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing corallite detail.

Acropora aculeus. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing corallite detail.