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Acropora cerealis

(Dana, 1846)

Colonies are caespitose or corymbose, composed of branches which interlock in three dimensions. Branches are thin, with most of their width occupied by corallites. Axial corallites are tubular. Radial corallites are tubular and appressed, becoming nariform and conspicuous towards the tips of branches giving colonies a spiny appearance.

Colour: Mostly pale brown, cream or white, with purple, pink, blue or cream branch tips.

Habitat: Upper reef slopes.

Abundance: Common.

Similar species: Acropora kimbeensis , Acropora plantaginea

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 cerealis.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Compact colony exposed to strong wave action.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora cerealis. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Compact colony exposed to strong wave action. Charlie Veron.

Acropora cerealis.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  On an exposed upper reef slope.  Roger Steene.

Acropora cerealis. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. On an exposed upper reef slope. Roger Steene.

Acropora cerealis.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  On a sheltered reef slope.  Jim Maragos.

Acropora cerealis. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. On a sheltered reef slope. Jim Maragos.

Acropora cerealis.  Ryukyu Islands, Japan.  Common variation in colony structure and colour.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora cerealis. Ryukyu Islands, Japan. Common variation in colony structure and colour. Charlie Veron.

Acropora cerealis.  Papua New Guinea.  Common variation in colony structure and colour.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora cerealis. Papua New Guinea. Common variation in colony structure and colour. Charlie Veron.

Acropora cerealis.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Branchlet tips are pale or brightly coloured.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora cerealis. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Branchlet tips are pale or brightly coloured. Charlie Veron.

Acropora cerealis.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  null.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora cerealis. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. null. Charlie Veron.

Acropora cerealis.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  On a moderately exposed upper reef slope.  Neville Coleman.

Acropora cerealis. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. On a moderately exposed upper reef slope. Neville Coleman.

Acropora cerealis.  Ryukyu Islands, Japan.  Branchlet tips are pale or brightly coloured.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora cerealis. Ryukyu Islands, Japan. Branchlet tips are pale or brightly coloured. Charlie Veron.

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

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

Acropora cerealis.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing skeletal detail.

Acropora cerealis. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing skeletal detail.

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

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

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

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

Acropora cerealis.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing skeletal detail.

Acropora cerealis. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing skeletal detail.

Acropora cerealis.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing plate formation.

Acropora cerealis. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing plate formation.