Acropora multiacuta   (Nemenzo,  1967) (Hard Coral)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Anthozoa

Image copyrights: Australian Institute of Marine Sciences

Color: Living corals usually cream, sometimes pale blue or pink.

Corallum pedicellate, caespito-corymbose; circular around 30 cm diameter, 16 cm high; base 9 cm across; upper surface convex. Branches very crowded, very irregular in diameter, 1-2 cm or more; lower surface only slightly flattened or not at all, distantly coalescent; branchlets somewhat similar to those on upper surface but fewer and oriented to general direction of growth. Upper branchlets very proliferous, up to 6-7 cm high, topped by exceptionally tall axial corallites surrounded at base by cluster of similar corallites but lower; apices 2-3 cm apart. Pedicel around 9 cm wide, devoid of corallites.

Axial corallites extremely exsert; tall, tapering; one without buds has these dimensions: height 26 mm; diameter at base 6.5 mm, at middle 5.5 mm, at apex 3.5 mm, diameter of calice 0.8 mm. Septa thin; 2 cycles; primaries reaching half radius points, directives slightly wider; secondaries half as wide. Wall thick, dense; edge somewhat rounded, outer surface pilose, covered with crowded spinules of even height; pores not distinct; no costules, no serial arrangement of spines.

Radial in 3 kinds: very tall, resembling the axial, but lower and narrower – abundant towards apical region; nariform corallites mixed with the tall ones but most abundant on peripheral branchlets; flush or subimmersed corallites also among tall ones but most abundant on central branchlets. The first type are tapering, high cone, calice usually oval, subterminal. Septa variable in development – some have 2 complete cyles, others have one, still others have only the directives conspicuous, the other primaries being very slight ridges. Nariform and subimmersed corallites have narrow septa, sometimes poorly developed but 2 directives always conspicuous; small secondaries occasionally present. Wall dense, abundantly echinulate on tall radials similar to axial corallites; reticulate on other types of corallites.

Intercalicinal areas spongy; threads narrower than meshes, coarser than that on calicinal wall. Spinules dispersed.

The most distinctive characteristic of this coral is the very prominent axial corallites and nearby radials.

Synonym (s)
Acropora multiacuta Nemenzo, 1967

Common Name (s)
• Stony Coral (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Threats:  Natural threats, Anthropogenic
(Protected under Indian Wild Life Protection Act, 1972)
Threats:  Natural threats
(Predation risk and susceptibility to coral diseases)
Threats:  Anthropogenic
(Fisheries, human development (industry, settlement, tourism, and transportation), changes in native species dynamics (competitors, predators, pathogens and parasites), invasive species (competitors, predators, pathogens and parasites), dynamite fishing, chemical fishing, pollution from agriculture and industry, domestic pollution, sedimentation, and human recreation and tourism activities)

Habitat:  Reef Associated
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Predator:  Acanthaster planci, the crown-of-thorns starfish, Butterfly fishes (Chaetodon trifascialis and Chaetodon trifasciatus)
IUCN Status:  Vulnerable


• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Lat: 14) (Long: 94) INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands (Lat: 8.53) (Long: 92.5) INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Wafar, MVM (2003) Checklists of reef fauna Available at -
  • Tikadar, BK; Daniel, A and Subbarao, NV (1986) Sea shore animals of Andaman and Nicobar Islands The Director, ZSI, Kolkatta 188 Available at - ZSI, Pune
  • UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre Available at -
  • Coral reefs species in India Available at -
  • Cairns, DS; Hoeksema, WB and Derland, JV (1999) List of extant stony corals Atoll Research Bulletin National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C, U. S. A 459 13-46 Available at - NIO, RC, Kochi
  • Venkataraman, K; Satyanarayana, CH; Alfred, JRB and Wolstenholme, J (2003) Handbook on hard corals of India ZSI, Kolkata 266 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Sealifebase Available at -
  • Wafar, MVM and Wafar, S (2001) 101 questions on corals: Towards awareness National Institute of Oceanography, Goa and Administration of the U.T. of Lakshadweep 81 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Carpenter, KE; Abrar, M; Aeby, G; Aronson, RB; Banks, S et al. (2008) One third of reef building corals face elevated extinction risk from climate change and local impacts Science American Association for the Advancement of Science 321 125-126 Available at -
  • Liveaquaria Available at -
  • Australian Institute of Marine Science Available at -
  • CoenoMAP Available at -
  • Reeflex Available at -
  • Graham, NAJ (2007) Ecological versatility and the decline of coral feeding fishes following climate driven coral mortality Marine Biology Springer Berlin / Heidelberg 153(2) 119-127 Available at -
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at -
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at -
  • Indian Wild Life Protection Act, 1972
  • Pillai, CSG. (1983) Structure and generic diversity of recent scleractinia of India Journal of Marine Biological Association of India 25(1&2) 78-90 Available at - CMFRI, Kochi
  • Pillai, CSG (1983) Coral reefs and their environs Bulletin Of Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 34 36-43 Available at -

Page last updated on:2011-03-22

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