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Acropora pulchra

(Brook, 1891)

Colonies are arborescent with cylindrical branches but may be corymbose, with horizontally fused basal branches which have upturned ends. They may form stands more than 5 metres across. Branches are smaller than those of the large staghorn Acropora species. Radial corallites are of mixed sizes, with projecting lower lips.

Colour: Pale to dark brown or blue, often with pale blue tips.

Habitat: Usually restricted to shallow back-reef margins.

Abundance: Usually uncommon but may be a dominant species.

Similar species: Acropora loisetteae

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

Map displaying probable distribution of species. Points indicate recorded sightings from OBIS.
Acropora pulchra.  Houtman Abrolhos Islands, south-western Australia.  Compact thicket.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora pulchra.Houtman Abrolhos Islands, south-western Australia.Compact thicket.Charlie Veron.

Acropora pulchra.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Sturdy branches in shallow water.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora pulchra.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Sturdy branches in shallow water.Charlie Veron.

Acropora pulchra.  Houtman Abrolhos Islands, south-western Australia.  Sturdy branches in shallow water.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora pulchra.Houtman Abrolhos Islands, south-western Australia.Sturdy branches in shallow water.Charlie Veron.

Acropora pulchra.  Houtman Abrolhos Islands, south-western Australia.  A large stand with A. spicifera in the foreground.  Bette Willis.

Acropora pulchra.Houtman Abrolhos Islands, south-western Australia.A large stand with A. spicifera in the foreground.Bette Willis.

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

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

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

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

Acropora pulchra.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing branch end.

Acropora pulchra.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing branch end.

Acropora pulchra.  Elizabeth Reef, south-eastern Australia.  Showing characteristic branching pattern.

Acropora pulchra.Elizabeth Reef, south-eastern Australia.Showing characteristic branching pattern.

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

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