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Common Lettuce Coral

A genus of hard coral with the scientific designation Pectinia lactuca. Its wavy pattern is made up of upright ridges, that can reach several centimeters in height, as well as elongate, radiating depressions, that are known as valleys. A this coral's name suggests, these labyrinth-shaped outlines of ridges and depressions are reminiscent of lettuce. It belongs to the family Pectiniidae, i.e. Chalice Corals, and was first officially published in 1766 by Peter Simon Pallas, 18th century German zoologist and botanist. It is one of the most common Pectinia species and typically forms conspicuous colonies of large, thick plates, which may grow to over a meter across and are usually a uniform grey, brown or green in colour. As in other corals, the colonies are formed from numerous tiny, anemone-like polyps, which secrete the hard coral skeleton. It is endemic in the seas of the Indo-Pacific region. See also pa-kahrang. See also POSTAGE STAMP.