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Montipora capitata

Dana, 1846

Colonies have encrusting bases, but are arborescent when fully developed. Verrucae are irregularly spaced and are usually fused towards branch tips or plate margins.

Colour: Usually pale brown with white verrucae.

Habitat: Shallow reef environments and soft substrates.

Abundance: Common in Hawaii, uncommon elsewhere.

Similar species: Montipora verrucosa

Taxonomic note: Taxonomic note: Hawaiian colonies are more encrusting or plate-like than elsewhere and have been confused with Montipora verrucosa. Source reference: Veron (2000). Taxonomic reference: Veron and Hodgson (1989). Additional identification guide: Nishihira and Veron (1995).

Map displaying probable distribution of species. Points indicate recorded sightings from OBIS.
Montipora capitata.  Philippines.  Branches.  Charlie Veron.

Montipora capitata.Philippines.Branches.Charlie Veron.

Montipora capitata.  Ryukyu Islands, Japan.  Partly encrusting.  Charlie Veron.

Montipora capitata.Ryukyu Islands, Japan.Partly encrusting.Charlie Veron.

Montipora capitata.  Philippines.  Fused branches.  Charlie Veron.

Montipora capitata.Philippines.Fused branches.Charlie Veron.

Montipora capitata.  Hawaii.  Plates.  Jim Maragos.

Montipora capitata.Hawaii.Plates.Jim Maragos.

Montipora capitata.  Indonesia.  Thicket of branches.  Charlie Veron.

Montipora capitata.Indonesia.Thicket of branches.Charlie Veron.

Montipora capitata. Skeletal detail.  Geoff Kelly.

Montipora capitata.Skeletal detail.Geoff Kelly.

Montipora capitata.  Indonesia.  Showing branches.

Montipora capitata.Indonesia.Showing branches.

Montipora capitata.  Indonesia.  Showing branch ends.

Montipora capitata.Indonesia.Showing branch ends.

Montipora capitata.  Indonesia.  Showing branch end.

Montipora capitata.Indonesia.Showing branch end.

Montipora capitata.  Indonesia.  Showing verrucae.

Montipora capitata.Indonesia.Showing verrucae.

Montipora capitata.  Hawaii.  Showing branch ends.

Montipora capitata.Hawaii.Showing branch ends.

Montipora capitata.  Hawaii.  Showing surface detail.

Montipora capitata.Hawaii.Showing surface detail.

Montipora capitata.  Hawaii.  Showing whole colony.

Montipora capitata.Hawaii.Showing whole colony.