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Scolymia cubensis

(Milne Edwards and Haime, 1849)

Usually attached but may be free-living, with a tapered base. Polyps have one, rarely two or more centres and are sometimes over 100 millimetres across. They may be only a few millimetres thick, with successive regrowths forming tiers. Sometimes corallites have several mouths. Septa are in two or three orders of slightly different size. A paliform crown may be distinguishable. Polyps are fleshy.

Colour: Uniform or variegated brown, red, tan or green. Sometimes bright orange (which may photograph brown).

Habitat: Lower reef slopes and soft substrates.

Abundance: Uncommon.

Similar species: Mussa angulosa

Taxonomic note: Taxonomic note: It is commonly believed that there are three, not one, species of Scolymia in the Atlantic. The names Scolymia lacera (Pallas, 1766), S. cubensis (Milne Edwards & Haime, 1849) and S. wellsi (Laborel, 1967) have been variously used. In most publications (best depicted by Zlatarski and Estalella, 1982), S. lacera is actually Mussa angulosa with solitary polyps. The name S. wellsi is usually given to small polyps of the present species and to those from Brazil. Source reference: Veron (2000). Taxonomic reference: Fenner (1993).

Map displaying probable distribution of species. Points indicate recorded sightings from OBIS.
Scolymia cubensis.  Caribbean.  Showing some of the species wide colour variation.  Paul Humann.

Scolymia cubensis.Caribbean.Showing some of the species wide colour variation.Paul Humann.

Scolymia cubensis.  Caribbean.  Showing some of the species wide colour variation.  Paul Humann.

Scolymia cubensis.Caribbean.Showing some of the species wide colour variation.Paul Humann.

Scolymia cubensis.  Caribbean.  Showing some of the species wide colour variation.  Paul Humann.

Scolymia cubensis.Caribbean.Showing some of the species wide colour variation.Paul Humann.

Scolymia cubensis.  Caribbean.  Showing some of the species wide colour variation.  Paul Humann.

Scolymia cubensis.Caribbean.Showing some of the species wide colour variation.Paul Humann.

Scolymia cubensis.  Caribbean.  Showing some of the species wide colour variation.  Charlie Veron.

Scolymia cubensis.Caribbean.Showing some of the species wide colour variation.Charlie Veron.

Scolymia cubensis.  Caribbean.  Showing some of the species wide colour variation.  Nancy Sefton.

Scolymia cubensis.Caribbean.Showing some of the species wide colour variation.Nancy Sefton.

Scolymia cubensis.  Caribbean.  Showing solitary corallite.

Scolymia cubensis.Caribbean.Showing solitary corallite.

Scolymia cubensis.  Caribbean.  Showing septa.

Scolymia cubensis.Caribbean.Showing septa.

Scolymia cubensis.  Caribbean.  Showing corallite with two mouths.

Scolymia cubensis.Caribbean.Showing corallite with two mouths.

Scolymia cubensis.  Caribbean.  Showing septa.

Scolymia cubensis.Caribbean.Showing septa.