Species Index

Micromussa lordhowensis
(Veron and Pichon, 1982)

Distribution: Common in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Recorded from the Indo-West Pacific region generally. In Australia recorded from Flinders Reef in Queensland south to the Solitary Islands in New South Wales, and including Elizabeth, Middleton Reefs and Lord Howe Island. Also recorded from the Dampier Archipelago and Burrup Pensinsular in Western Australia.

Ecological Notes: More abundant on temperate reefs to a depth of 30m.

Additional Notes: This species is a hermaphrodite and broadcast spawner, the larvae drift as plankton in the ocean currents. Larvae reared in aquariums were found to exist for up to 78 days before settling. In the ocean this would allow for greater dispersal and greater chances of finding optimum settling sites.

Fleshy polyps, are very colourful, and may be red, purple and green in colour. Because of the brighter colours, colonies, which may be up to 1.5 m across, are very conspicuous.

References: Veron, J.E.N., Corals of Australia and the Indo-Pacific. Angus and Robertson Publishers, 1986. Pp. 410.

Wilson, J. R.; Harrison, P. L. (1998). “Settlement-competency periods of larvae of three species of scleractinian corals”. Marine Biology. 131 (2): 339–345.