Skip to Content
Sign up
Report an error

Merulina scabricula

Dana, 1846

Colonies are laminar or subarborescent, with these different growth-forms characteristically occurring together in large colonies. Valleys are short, straight, and spread in a fan before dividing. They radiate from the colony centre on flat surfaces, but are highly contorted on branches. Flat surfaces often have concentric growth lines. Tentacles are extended only at night. Well developed colonies always have some branch development.

Colour: Blue or pale brown with blue margins (which may photograph pink). Tentacles are extended only at night.

Habitat: A wide variety of reef environments, especially lagoons and upper slopes.

Abundance: Common.

Similar species: Merulina ampliata

Taxonomic note: Source reference: Veron (2000). Taxonomic reference: Chevalier (1975). Additional identification guides: Veron (1986), Nishihira and Veron (1995).

Map displaying probable distribution of species. Points indicate recorded sightings from OBIS.
Merulina scabricula.  Philippines.  Adjacent colonies of M. scabra (below) and M. ampliata (above) showing typical differences.  Charlie Veron.

Merulina scabricula.Philippines.Adjacent colonies of M. scabra (below) and M. ampliata (above) showing typical differences.Charlie Veron.

Merulina scabricula.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  M. Scabra sandwiched between two Acropora, showing a basal plate and contorted upgrowths.  Charlie Veron.

Merulina scabricula.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.M. Scabra sandwiched between two Acropora, showing a basal plate and contorted upgrowths.Charlie Veron.

Merulina scabricula.  Scott Reef, western Australia.  Contorted upgrowths.  Charlie Veron.

Merulina scabricula.Scott Reef, western Australia.Contorted upgrowths.Charlie Veron.

Merulina scabricula.  Scott Reef, western Australia.  A plate margin.  Charlie Veron.

Merulina scabricula.Scott Reef, western Australia.A plate margin.Charlie Veron.

Merulina scabricula.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing valleys.

Merulina scabricula.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing valleys.

Merulina scabricula.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing branching pattern.

Merulina scabricula.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing branching pattern.

Merulina scabricula.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing characteristic branching pattern.

Merulina scabricula.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing characteristic branching pattern.

Merulina scabricula.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing plate formation.

Merulina scabricula.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing plate formation.

Merulina scabricula.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing corallites.

Merulina scabricula.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing corallites.

Merulina scabricula.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing characteristic colony formation.

Merulina scabricula.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing characteristic colony formation.