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Flower Coral

A species of hard branching coral with the scientific name Acropora aspera and due to its bifurcating shape also referred to as a staghorn coral, and is also commonly known as Table Coral. Its colouration varies from greyish-white and pale yellowish-green to brown, and occasionally even blue. The appearance of some individuals is somewhat reminiscent of that of certain cactuses, such as the Ladyfinger Cactus (fig.). It is found on reef flats and in lagoons in very shallow water, with bright light and moderate to high water motion, and occurs all over the western Indo-Pacific Ocean. Like other corals, Acropora corals are actually colonies of individuals, known as polyps, which are about 2 mm across and share tissue and a nerve net. The polyps can withdraw back into the coral in response to movement or disturbance by possible predators, but when undisturbed they protrude to capture plankton. See also pa-kahrang. See also POSTAGE STAMP.