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Wonder Coral

Thai. Name of a large polyp stony coral (fig.), with the scientific designation Catalaphyllia jardinei, found in coastal reefs throughout the western Pacific Ocean, where it is seated in sandy areas, rather than directly on rocks, preferably in water exposed to currents in order to angle for food particles. It is also commonly known as Elegance Coral and Ridge Coral, and in Thai referred to as pa-kahrang dokmai, which translates as flower coral. This coral exists in a number of colours, varying from a pale fluorescent lime green to purplish blue and brownish. It consist of a cup-shaped calcareous exoskeleton with a fleshy disc-like base with large polyps, that produce eggs and sperm, and long tendrils, that are used to gather food, in a way very similar to Sea Anemones (fig.). Besides sexual reproduction, it a can also reproduce asexually by growing branches that drop off to form satellite colonies. This species of coral is a popular item in marine aquariums. See also POSTAGE STAMP.