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Pocillopora verrucosa

(Ellis and Solander, 1786)

Colonies are seldom more than 0.5 metres across and are composed of uniform upright branches clearly distinct from the verrucae, but the latter are irregular in size. Branches are thick and compact in habitats exposed to strong wave action, becoming open and thinner in protected habitats. Bleached skeletons have permanently coloured red-brown main branches.

Colour: Usually cream, brown or pink, sometimes blue.

Habitat: Occurs in most shallow water environments from exposed reef fronts to protected fringing reefs.

Abundance: Common.

Similar species: Pocillopora capitata , Pocillopora danae , Pocillopora elegans

Taxonomic note: 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).

Map displaying probable distribution of species. Points indicate recorded sightings from OBIS.
Pocillopora verrucosa.  Scott Reef, western Australia.  On a wave washed intertidal reef, showing extremely short thick compact branches.  Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora verrucosa.Scott Reef, western Australia.On a wave washed intertidal reef, showing extremely short thick compact branches.Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora verrucosa.  Ashmore Reef, western Australia.  On an upper reef slope.  Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora verrucosa.Ashmore Reef, western Australia.On an upper reef slope.Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora verrucosa.  Ryukyu Islands, Japan.  An open branching pattern characteristically found in sheltered habitats.  Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora verrucosa.Ryukyu Islands, Japan.An open branching pattern characteristically found in sheltered habitats.Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora verrucosa.  Ryukyu Islands, Japan.  Showing elongate verrucae which are characteristic of colonies from turbid water.  Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora verrucosa.Ryukyu Islands, Japan.Showing elongate verrucae which are characteristic of colonies from turbid water.Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora verrucosa.  Red Sea.  Branch tips.  Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora verrucosa.Red Sea.Branch tips.Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora verrucosa.  Ryukyu Islands, Japan.  Adjacent colonies of P. verrucosa (left) and P. damicornis (right)..  Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora verrucosa.Ryukyu Islands, Japan.Adjacent colonies of P. verrucosa (left) and P. damicornis (right)..Charlie Veron.

Pocillopora verrucosa.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing verrucae.

Pocillopora verrucosa.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing verrucae.

Pocillopora verrucosa.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing whole colony.

Pocillopora verrucosa.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing whole colony.

Pocillopora verrucosa.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing branches.

Pocillopora verrucosa.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing branches.

Pocillopora verrucosa.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing branches.

Pocillopora verrucosa.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing branches.

Pocillopora verrucosa.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing branching pattern.

Pocillopora verrucosa.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing branching pattern.

Pocillopora verrucosa.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing branch end.

Pocillopora verrucosa.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing branch end.

Pocillopora verrucosa.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing branches.

Pocillopora verrucosa.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing branches.