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How to Identify Echinopora Lamellosa Coral

Because many Indo-Pacific coral species do not have common names, it’s easier to identify Echinopora lamellosa as a thin plating coral covered in dome-shaped corallites.

Echinopora forms thin delicate plates that grow quickly and to an impressive size. Echinopora lamellosa can form single plates or tiers of flat plates. The edges of the plates can be smooth, or undulating like a wave — even sometimes looking folded like the edge of crumpled paper.

The way to distinguish Echinopora is by looking at the corallites, which grow as little round domes on the surface of the coral. These corallites are often spaced wide apart, and the plates lack any visible ridges or valleys. The corallites are small (2.5 mm to 4 mm in diameter).

In the center of the corallite you can see a small columella, which is ­often a different color from the rest of the coral. The columella is a ridged structure in the center of the corallite.

You can find Echinopora in yellow to brown, green and even sometimes a bluish-gray color. Often the corallites are different colors — sometimes green or yellow — compared with the rest of the corals.

Echinopora lamellosa is a great candidate for coral-restoration projects because of its adaptability to different reef habitats and its impressive growth rate. However, it is important to grow this coral in a protected area due to its thin, ­delicate skeleton.

Source: Nicole Helgason

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