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Pocillopora damicornis

(Linnaeus, 1758)

Colonies are compact clumps reaching several metres across. There is no clear distinction between verrucae and branches as these intergrade with each other. Branches are highly compact and sturdy in habitats exposed to strong wave action and are thin and open in deep or protected habitats.

Colour: Usually pale brown, greenish or pink.

Habitat: Occurs in all shallow water habitats from exposed reef fronts to mangrove swamps and wharf piles.

Abundance: Common.

Similar species: Pocillopora danae

Taxonomic note: Taxonomic note: This species is divisible into several smaller semi-distinct taxonomic units. Source reference: Veron (2000). Taxonomic references: Veron and Pichon (1976), Dai (1989). Additional identification guides: Veron (1986), Sheppard and Sheppard (1991), Nishihira and Veron (1995), Coles (1996).

Map displaying probable distribution of species. Points indicate recorded sightings from OBIS.
Pocillopora damicornis.  Dampier Archipelago, western Australia.  Typical appearance on reef slopes exposed to moderate wave action.  Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora damicornis. Dampier Archipelago, western Australia. Typical appearance on reef slopes exposed to moderate wave action. Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora damicornis.  Ashmore Reef, western Australia.  Typical appearance on reef slopes.  Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora damicornis. Ashmore Reef, western Australia. Typical appearance on reef slopes. Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora damicornis.  Houtman Abrolhos Islands, south-western Australia.  In a deep, very sheltered habitat. Branches are thin and have an open growth pattern.  Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora damicornis. Houtman Abrolhos Islands, south-western Australia. In a deep, very sheltered habitat. Branches are thin and have an open growth pattern. Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora damicornis.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Detail of branches in a sheltered lagoon.  Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora damicornis. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Detail of branches in a sheltered lagoon. Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora damicornis.  Solitary Islands, south-eastern Australia.  This species often forms races characteristic of particular geographic regions.  Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora damicornis. Solitary Islands, south-eastern Australia. This species often forms races characteristic of particular geographic regions. Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora damicornis.  Seychelle Islands.  Colonies of P. damicornis (pink, right) and P. verrucosa (cream, left)..  Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora damicornis. Seychelle Islands. Colonies of P. damicornis (pink, right) and P. verrucosa (cream, left).. Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora damicornis.  Norfolk Island, Coral Sea.  This species often forms races characteristic of particular geographic regions.  Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora damicornis. Norfolk Island, Coral Sea. This species often forms races characteristic of particular geographic regions. Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora damicornis.  Lord Howe Island, south-eastern Australia.  A clump with thick branches in a high latitude location.  Neville Coleman.

Pocillopora damicornis. Lord Howe Island, south-eastern Australia. A clump with thick branches in a high latitude location. Neville Coleman.

Pocillopora damicornis.  Dampier Archipelago, western Australia.  Typical appearance on reef slopes.  Neville Coleman.

Pocillopora damicornis. Dampier Archipelago, western Australia. Typical appearance on reef slopes. Neville Coleman.

Pocillopora damicornis.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing branches and verrucae.

Pocillopora damicornis. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing branches and verrucae.

Pocillopora damicornis.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing compact branches and verrucae.

Pocillopora damicornis. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing compact branches and verrucae.

Pocillopora damicornis.  Southern Red Sea.  Showing branches and verrucae.

Pocillopora damicornis. Southern Red Sea. Showing branches and verrucae.

Pocillopora damicornis.  Southern Red Sea.  Showing branch ends.

Pocillopora damicornis. Southern Red Sea. Showing branch ends.

Pocillopora damicornis.  Hawaii.  Showing compact branches and verrucae.

Pocillopora damicornis. Hawaii. Showing compact branches and verrucae.