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Acropora austera

(Dana, 1846)

Colonies are mostly arborescent, often with highly fused main branches. Main branches often curve away from each other and typically taper. Sub-branches are numerous, irregular in size and also taper. Axial corallites are thick walled but have small openings. Radial corallites are sometimes arranged in rows, are irregular in size, the larger projecting outwards with wide square-shaped openings.

Colour: Many colours, most commonly blue (which may photograph pink) or cream. Axial corallites are frequently yellow.

Habitat: Upper reef slopes, especially where exposed to turbulence.

Abundance: Usually uncommon.

Similar species: Acropora florida

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 austera.  Seychelle Islands.  Large compact colony.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora austera. Seychelle Islands. Large compact colony. Charlie Veron.

Acropora austera.  Ryukyu Islands, Japan.  Tapered, slightly diverging branches.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora austera. Ryukyu Islands, Japan. Tapered, slightly diverging branches. Charlie Veron.

Acropora austera.  Ryukyu Islands, Japan.  Open branching colony.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora austera. Ryukyu Islands, Japan. Open branching colony. Charlie Veron.

Acropora austera.  Philippines.  Branches of a colony in a protected environment.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora austera. Philippines. Branches of a colony in a protected environment. Charlie Veron.

Acropora austera.  Philippines.  Corallite detail.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora austera. Philippines. Corallite detail. Charlie Veron.

Acropora austera.  Seychelle Islands.  Surface detail of a branch.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora austera. Seychelle Islands. Surface detail of a branch. Charlie Veron.

Acropora austera.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing branch tip.

Acropora austera. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing branch tip.

Acropora austera.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing radial corallites.

Acropora austera. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing radial corallites.

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

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

Acropora austera.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing characteristic branching pattern.

Acropora austera. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing characteristic branching pattern.

Acropora austera.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing branching pattern.

Acropora austera. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing branching pattern.

Acropora austera.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing characteristic branching pattern.

Acropora austera. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing characteristic branching pattern.