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Acropora carduus

(Dana, 1846)

Colonies form bottlebrush thickets with upright or prostrate main branches. Axial and incipient axial corallites are short and tapered. Radial corallites are small and pocket-shaped. All corallites have thick walls.

Colour: Uniform pale brown or cream, rarely blue or mauve.

Habitat: Deep water or protected reef backs and lagoons.

Abundance: Common.

Similar species: Acropora elseyi

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 carduus.  Ryukyu Islands, Japan.  Compact thicket.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora carduus. Ryukyu Islands, Japan. Compact thicket. Charlie Veron.

Acropora carduus.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Detail of branches.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora carduus. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Detail of branches. Charlie Veron.

Acropora carduus.  Papua New Guinea.  Corallite detail.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora carduus. Papua New Guinea. Corallite detail. Charlie Veron.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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