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Acropora palmata

(Lamarck, 1816)

This species forms the largest colonies of all Acropora (commonly 4 metres across, 2 metres high, with bases 0.4 metres thick) with parallel, obliquely inclined, very thick tapered branches. Branches are horizontally flattened towards their extremities. Corallites are tubular and irregular in length. Axial corallites, if formed at all, are indistinct.

Colour: Tan or pale brown with white axial corallites.

Habitat: Shallow outer reef slopes exposed to wave action.

Abundance: Usually common and conspicuous.

Similar species: Acropora prolifera

Taxonomic note: Source reference: Veron (2000). Taxonomic references: Roos (1971), Cairns (1982), Wallace (1999). Additional identification guides: Colin (1978), Humann (1993).

Map displaying probable distribution of species. Points indicate recorded sightings from OBIS.
Acropora palmata.  Caribbean.  Coral Reef Society icon.  Paul Humann.

Acropora palmata.Caribbean.Coral Reef Society icon.Paul Humann.

Acropora palmata.  Caribbean.  Surface detail of a frond.  Charlie Veron.

Acropora palmata.Caribbean.Surface detail of a frond.Charlie Veron.

Acropora palmata.  Caribbean.  Compact wide branches.  Neville Coleman.

Acropora palmata.Caribbean.Compact wide branches.Neville Coleman.

Acropora palmata.  Caribbean.  Small subtidal colonies.  Nancy Sefton.

Acropora palmata.Caribbean.Small subtidal colonies.Nancy Sefton.

Acropora palmata.  Caribbean.  Showing corallites.

Acropora palmata.Caribbean.Showing corallites.

Acropora palmata.  Caribbean.  Showing colony surface.

Acropora palmata.Caribbean.Showing colony surface.

Acropora palmata.  Caribbean.  Showing colony surface.

Acropora palmata.Caribbean.Showing colony surface.

Acropora palmata.  Caribbean.  Showing corallites.

Acropora palmata.Caribbean.Showing corallites.

Acropora palmata.  Caribbean.  Showing corallites.

Acropora palmata.Caribbean.Showing corallites.