Acropora Echinata

Acropora Echinata from Blane Peruns TheSea
Photograph by DBarsotti

One of the most intriguing aspects of the acropora family of corals is the huge amount of variety within the species, and the echinata corals are no exception. First discovered in the mid 1800s, the fast-growing species is native to the shallow waters of the Pacific Ocean.

Echinata Identification

Given the large number of acropora species currently identified (over 300); proper identification is not always easy. Even though the general name is defined as a porous stem or branch, the echinata specie of coral is further distinguished by corallites that grow outward in a bottle-brush pattern. The growth pattern of echinata is also beneficial to the fish that dwell near its reef systems, providing an excellent source of protection in its many interwoven branches.

Growth Rate

Capitalizing on prime dwellings that consist of strong currents and easy access to strong natural light exposure, corals can quickly become the dominant coral species in a reef system. Although the branches of corals are fragile and easily damaged by natural storms and other systems, its growth rate is so accelerated that it quickly bounces back from most damage.

Global Warming and Echinata

But even its fast growth rate hasn’t been able to overcome the negative impact that global warming has had on corals in the recent years. These warmer temperatures are not desired by the echinata species, and the disturbance causes the symbiotic algae to be expelled from the coral system, taking with it the acropora echinatas source of food. When this occurs, corals lose its coloring and turn completely white- a process known as bleaching. Bleaching has significantly decreased the numbers of corals that are currently in existence.

In The Reef Aquarium

Acropora echinata corals that are brightly colored are extremely popular among reef enthusiasts. However, a considerable level of experience with reef systems will greatly benefit an aquarist who desired to maintain specimens in an artificial environment. Compared to other types of corals, echinata corals require more maintenance and attention to detail than its relatives.

Lighting

These corals that are brightly colored are extremely popular among reef enthusiasts. However, a considerable level of experience with reef systems will greatly benefit an aquarist who desired to maintain specimens in an artificial environment. Compared to other types of corals, echinata corals require more maintenance and attention to detail than its relatives.