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Oculina varicosa

(Lesueur, 1821)

Colonies may be zooxanthellate or azooxanthellate depending on light availability. Azooxanthellate colonies form extensive banks while zooxanthellate colonies form clumps of tapered fused branches less than 0.5 metres across. Corallites are exsert, 2-3 millimetres diameter. Septa are in three cycles.

Colour: Tan, lavender, or dark brown.

Habitat: Zooxanthellate colonies occur in protected environments as little as 5 metres deep.

Abundance: Rare.

Similar species: Oculina diffusa , Oculina valenciennesi

Taxonomic note: Source reference: Veron (2000). Taxonomic reference: Reed (1980). Additional identification guide: Humann (1993).

Map displaying probable distribution of species. Points indicate recorded sightings from OBIS.
Oculina varicosa.  South-eastern USA.  A small clump of tapered branches.  Paul Humann.

Oculina varicosa.South-eastern USA.A small clump of tapered branches.Paul Humann.

Oculina varicosa.  South-eastern USA.  Tapered branches showing corallite detail.  Paul Humann.

Oculina varicosa.South-eastern USA.Tapered branches showing corallite detail.Paul Humann.

Oculina varicosa.  Caribbean.  Showing corallites.

Oculina varicosa.Caribbean.Showing corallites.

Oculina varicosa.  South-eastern USA.  Showing whole colony.

Oculina varicosa.South-eastern USA.Showing whole colony.

Oculina varicosa.  South-eastern USA.  Showing branches.

Oculina varicosa.South-eastern USA.Showing branches.

Oculina varicosa.  South-eastern USA.  Showing corallites.

Oculina varicosa.South-eastern USA.Showing corallites.