TAXONOMY
Kingdom: Animalia
Subkingdom: Metazoa
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthoza
Order: Scleractina
Family: Faviidae

Genus/species: Colpophyllia natans

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Dome shaped colonies of individual polyps. The colony surfaces are covered with random curved ridges separated by large long and wide grooves known as valleys. Size: Up to 6 feet in diameter.

Boulder Brain Coral5230996878_5b77255438_b

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Caribbean Sea, Gulf of Mexico and Florida Keys. Depth up to 55 m (180 ft)

DIET IN THE WILD: Plankton and zooxanthella by-products.

REPRODUCTION: Budding, and external sexual fertilization.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Least Concern     Threats include coral bleaching, black band disease, and white plague which can cause mortality.

REMARKS: Even though they may grow to 6 feet their skeletons will float when dry.

References

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium, Caribbean Reef Exhibit

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/5230996878/in/album-72157625866509117/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1DB

arkive  www.arkive.org/boulder-brain-coral/colpophyllia-natans/

IUCN Red List www.iucnredlist.org