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Acropora hyacinthus

(Dana, 1846)

Colonies are wide flat plates and tables or tiered aggregations of small plates. Branches are thin and finely structured except where exposed to wave action, when they become closely fused. Branchlets are fine and upward projecting. Axial corallites are distinct but not exsert. Radial corallites are cup-shaped and form rosettes.

Colour: Uniform cream, brown, grey or green with or without blue (which may photograph pink) growing margins.

Habitat: Upper reef slopes and outer reef flats.

Abundance: One of the most abundant corals of exposed outer reef slopes of much of the western Pacific.

Similar species: Acropora spicifera , Acropora tanegashimensis

Taxonomic note: Taxonomic note: This species is divisible into several smaller semi-distinct taxonomic units. 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 hyacinthus.  Dampier Archipelago, western Australia.  Large colonies.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora hyacinthus. Dampier Archipelago, western Australia. Large colonies. Charlie Veron.

Acropora hyacinthus.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Tiers of overlapping plates.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora hyacinthus. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Tiers of overlapping plates. Charlie Veron.

Acropora hyacinthus.  Solomon Islands.  Plate.  Jim Maragos.

Acropora hyacinthus. Solomon Islands. Plate. Jim Maragos.

Acropora hyacinthus.  Indonesia.  Plate of loosely interlinked branches.  Pat Colin.

Acropora hyacinthus. Indonesia. Plate of loosely interlinked branches. Pat Colin.

Acropora hyacinthus.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Rosette of radial corallites.  Valerie Taylor.

Acropora hyacinthus. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Rosette of radial corallites. Valerie Taylor.

Acropora hyacinthus.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Plates are usually solid towards the centre of large colonies.  Mary Stafford-Smith.

Acropora hyacinthus. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Plates are usually solid towards the centre of large colonies. Mary Stafford-Smith.

Acropora hyacinthus.  Philippines.  Edge of plate.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora hyacinthus. Philippines. Edge of plate. Charlie Veron.

Acropora hyacinthus.  Ryukyu Islands, Japan.  Corallite detail.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora hyacinthus. Ryukyu Islands, Japan. Corallite detail. Charlie Veron.

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

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

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

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

Acropora hyacinthus.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing plate formation in exposed habitat.

Acropora hyacinthus. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing plate formation in exposed habitat.

Acropora hyacinthus.  Coral Sea.  Showing plate formation.

Acropora hyacinthus. Coral Sea. Showing plate formation.

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

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

Acropora hyacinthus.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing plate formation in sheltered habitat.

Acropora hyacinthus. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing plate formation in sheltered habitat.