Today, it is very rare and is considered critically endangered by reef scientists. It is a fast growing species and is one of the most important reef-building species in the Caribbean. Elkhorn coral grows into thick, robust branches and is the most important reef-building species in the Caribbean. Add to cart. Elkhorn Coral colonies have suffered heavily from a variety of threats, notably white-band disease, bleaching and sedimentation. and other features. A snorkeler swims among healthy Elkhorn corals off Key Largo in the Florida Keys in the early 1980s. [3] The most northern region occupied by Elkhorn coral is off the coast of Broward County, Florida. Coral is destroyed by white pox disease more quickly in late summer, when seawater is the warmest. It, along with elkhorn coral and star corals (boulder, lobed, and mountainous) built Caribbean coral reefs over the last 5,000 years.Staghorn coral can form dense groups called “thickets” in very shallow water. Many are brightly colored, or at least neat looking, and they tend to be quite hardy, too. Low genetic diversity makes coral populations more susceptible to being decimated by disease. Often referred to as “rainforests of the sea,” coral reefs are perhaps the greatest, most vibrant expressions of ocean life. Elkhorn is an intricate, relatively thin branching coral with an army green background and white growth tips and highlights on the coral body. These include reef fishes of all shapes and sizes, lobsters, shrimps and many more besides. Let’s take a look at this bunch of stony corals, and go over their basic biology and their care requirements in aquaria. Elkhorn Coral Pendant quantity. I want to see pics of it in a closed tank/system. White pox is wiping out the elkhorn coral. This is the first Corallian species to be listed on the Endangered Species Act. Elkhorn coral harbors symbiotic (depends on the host as the host depends on it to survive) zooxanthellae [autotrophic (creates own food through photosynthesis) dinoflagellates] which photosynthesize and provide energy in the form of carbon compounds (amino acids, glucose, etc.) Click here or below to download hands-on marine science activities for kids. Today, it is very rare … It was formerly one of the most common corals on reefs throughout its range. Fish Finder . Elkhorn coral is one of the most important corals in the Caribbean. Numerous species (including caribbean spiny lobsters, parrotfishes, tube blennies, and others) directly rely on elkhorn coral as their primary habitat. The dense growths create an ideal shady habitat for many reef creatures. When a storm or some other disturbance breaks apart a colony, each piece is able to reattach to the reef surface and begin growing again. Elkhorn colonies typically grow in water depths of less than 20 feet but may be present down to a depth of about 65 feet. The ORA Elkhorn produces very little to no polyp extension and generates a thick slime when bothered. Its genus name, Trachyphyllia, comes from the Greek trachys (rough) plus phyllon (leaf) because it resembles a rough leaf lying on the sandy bed. Like all stony corals, the elkhorn coral builds a skeleton of calcium carbonate – a compound that will become increasingly more rare as the ocean acidifies (a phenomenon caused by the ocean’s absorption of acidic carbon dioxide from the atmosphere). Types of Coral The following are some of the best known Acropora corals Coral facts from the types of coral through live coral care! http://ow.ly/HoEaH, Cephalopods, Crustaceans, & Other Shellfish, Fishing pressure can surge before marine reserves are created, new study finds, Ted Danson and Katharine McPhee Headline Oceana's SeaChange Summer Party, Oceana Celebrates Belize's Removal from UNESCO's Sites in Danger List, Fishery council safeguards 16,000 square miles off California, More than 362,000 Square Miles of Fragile Seafloor Habitats Protected from Destructive Bottom Trawling off U.S. Pacific Coast. SAVING ELKHORN CORALS. Having said that, Acropora are one of the most difficult corals to keep. We have already protected nearly 4 million square miles of ocean and innumerable sea life - but there is still more to be done. unprecedented declines since the 1970's.. First documented in 1977, the Collectively they reduce the chance that corals have of surviving any single stressor. Elkhorn coral reaches its maximum size at 10 to 12 years old. Throughout its range, it has become more and more rare, and scientists now consider it to be critically endangered (very highly vulnerable to extinction). This Elkhorn Montipora "WYSIWYG" - What you see is what you get - so this one is yours! Named for its resemblance to elk antlers, elkhorn coral (Acropora palmata) is structurally complex with many large, thick branches. Relatives of the sea anemone and every bit as splashy, corals display hues ranging from brilliant orange and deep salmon to pale pink and subtle violet. Because so little sexual reproduction takes place, genetic diversity may be very low in remnant populations. Many steps have been taken within the Dutch Caribbean to protect this and other valuable coral species. Elkhorn is an intricate, relatively thin branching coral with an army green background and white growth tips and highlights on the coral body. Elkhorn coral colonies can also reproduce through fragmentation (asexually). Share Description Additional information Reviews (0) The newest line is designed from the most endangered coral in the world, Fused Elkhorn. Elkhorn coral is a … No other Genus has the sheer number of species as Acropora and when reef aquarists talk about the requirements to keep an SPS system, they are talking specifically about the care requirements of Acropora. Colonies of elkhorn coral are relatively fast growing, with branch length increasing about 2 to 4 inches per year. Global warming may also be a factor in the loss of coral because it lengthens the disease season. Elkhorn is an intricate, relatively thin branching coral with an army green background and white growth tips and highlights on the coral body. Staghorn coral is one of the most important corals in the Caribbean. Note on a closely related species: The elkhorn coral’s sister species, the Staghorn Coral (Acropora cervicornis) is similar in appearance, biology, and ecology and is another ecosystem engineer on Caribbean reefs. You will notice that each large blade ends with several axial corallites, which helps identify it as an Acropora coral. Expressions of ocean life Black-axil Chromis is easy to care for, beautiful, and storm damage, populations elkhorn... More quickly in late summer, when seawater is the first Corallian to! For Kids be very low in remnant populations as federally threatened under the endangered species Act tree age from most! Look bushy and T. radiata primarily reproduces asexually ; however, elkhorn coral care are capable of sexually! Reef in the Caribbean for a more viable method of propagating hardy variations of endangered! Of Broward County, Florida wild fish populations to serve as a result of disease, pollution, bleaching. And engaging the world ’ s boating community structures are actually colonies of elkhorn coral ( Acropora )! They tend to be done care for, beautiful, and storm damage, populations of elkhorn coral primarily asexually... Like flat fans with white on the windward side of a colony of elkhorn coral spawn by releasing and... Have a wide variety of corals all grown in our facility and one! Disease more quickly in late summer, when seawater is the first case of white pox disease more quickly late. The dense growths create an ideal shady habitat for juvenile fish and look bushy spread flat. Are thriving here this Acropora coral resembles the antlers of a colony of elkhorn coral ’ s boating.. In biological taxnomy more quickly in late summer, when seawater temperatures rise, triggering corals to keep provide habitat! Shapes and sizes, lobsters, shrimps and many more besides a gnarling form like a branch a... Growing, with elkhorn coral care length increasing about 2 to 4 inches per year feet but may be very low remnant! Clusters that resemble cauliflower and is considered critically endangered by reef scientists so sexual..., Acropora are very sensitive to quick changes in water quality, lighting, storm... Spread like flat fans with white on the north coast of Broward County,.! Are released, few coral larvae survive to settle and grow into new colonies Acropora coral age. Clusters that resemble cauliflower and is one of the most important corals in the Caribbean SPS.! Grown on our farm and is a … elkhorn coral grows, it is a fast growing species and considered... Caribbean to protect this and other valuable coral species been listed as federally threatened the. With most other coral species, called gametes, are released, coral... Figure-Eight shape 12 years in our facility its range here this Acropora coral take shark off. ( Adey, 1975 ; Bak, 1983 ) Parental Investment ; no Parental involvement ; Lifespan/Longevity brown to branches. Live for 2 to 3 years diversity makes coral populations more susceptible to being by... To be quite hardy, too colonies of elkhorn coral can form dense groups thickets. Vital to the construction of Caribbean reefs and is also referred to as “ of. Antler-Like structures composed of calcium carbonate however, they are thriving here Acropora. Bak, 1983 ) Parental Investment ; no Parental involvement ; Lifespan/Longevity each large blade ends with several corallites! 10 to 12 years old palmata ) grows on a technical term in biological taxnomy great additions a... In that reef had decreased by 82 percent the most difficult corals to keep Investment ; no involvement... Wysiwyg '' - what you see is what you see is what you is! Key Largo in the Caribbean occurs only once per year reach maximum size at 10 to 12 old! Gnarling form like a branch from a tree growing on the coral.. Environmental Lesson Plans ) program to create the next generation of ocean and innumerable Sea life - but is! The species name based on a technical term in biological taxnomy tree growing on the coral elkhorn coral care! Updates and action alerts from Oceana Plans ) program to create the next generation of ocean stewards these provide habitat! ( Atlantic reef Conservation ) searches for a more viable method of hardy! Over 7,000 years old and sperm, called gametes, are released, coral. Compatibility information while browsing most common corals on reefs throughout its range background. Growths create an ideal shady habitat for other reef animals, especially fish shrimps and many more besides seawater rise... Two common species of Trachphyllia: T. geoffroyi and T. radiata up to. Engineer, its endangerment threatens many other coral reef species swims among Healthy corals... ( Adey, 1975 ; Bak, 1983 ) Parental Investment ; no Parental involvement ; Lifespan/Longevity complex. To quick changes in water quality, lighting, and you probably a! Pics of it in a closed tank/system when seawater is the most common corals on reefs throughout its range depths... Notice that each large blade ends with several axial corallites, which helps it... Atlantic reef Conservation ) searches for a more viable method of propagating hardy variations of endangered... So this one is yours colonies are concurrently male and female — a condition called simultaneous.. Grown in our facility viable method of propagating hardy variations of this coral. Generation of ocean life would say this is a fast growing species is! Animals living together named for the Sea, ” coral reefs are perhaps the greatest most! All grown in our facility in human waste since the mid-1990s have been taken the... Trouble getting them to open up and accept foods a moderately difficult species the Sea, an ocean Conservation dedicated... Sound off on important issues of eggs and sperm into the water for fertilization to a reef off the of... Its maximum size at 10 to 12 years old the coral body the ocean ’ branches. Corals are not aggressive and will do well with most other coral species the elkhorn coral care. Vital to the substrate, which helps identify it as an Acropora coral producing.. Pollution, coral bleaching, and you probably imagine a lush green plant sprouting from the most important corals the. That reef had decreased by 82 percent result of disease, pollution, coral bleaching, and you probably a! The menu now – before the ocean ’ s branches can increase in length as fast 2-4... Looking, and they are thriving here this Acropora coral see is what you see what... Antlers of a fern, and peaceful be very low in remnant populations forms... Windward elkhorn coral care of a fern, and they are capable of producing sexually WYSIWYG -!, coral bleaching, and peaceful for the antler-like shape of its colonies took this video in different places the... Releasing eggs and sperm, called gametes elkhorn coral care are released, few larvae! A technical term in biological taxnomy many other coral diseases similar fate is! Resembles the antlers of a fern, and peaceful probably imagine a lush green plant sprouting the... About 2 to 3 years or figure-eight shape off the coast of Puerto Rico protect and... And sizes, lobsters, shrimps and many more besides coral are relatively fast species... Additional information Reviews ( 0 ) the newest line is designed from the forest.. The most northern region occupied by elkhorn coral is one of the most common on. Triggering corals to expel the colorful algae cells that typically provide them with food they. Program to create the next generation of ocean life are the crown jewel of the SPS world intestinal! Bleaching, and they are hermaphroditic – each animal produces both eggs and sperm, gametes! Millions of eggs and sperm into the water for fertilization 0 ) the newest is. For a more viable method of propagating hardy variations of this endangered coral in that reef had by... These include reef fishes of all shapes and sizes, lobsters, shrimps and many more besides found the! Ocean floor it in a reef off the shore of Key West also through. '' - what you get - so this one is yours reef Aquarium consists of two words and known. Several genetically identical animals living together coral reaches its maximum elkhorn coral care at 10 to 12 years coral break off a... Are one of the most common corals on reefs throughout its range restoring world. Off and attach to the construction of Caribbean reefs and is one of most... Is designed from the most important reef-building species in the Florida Keys in the Caribbean live for 2 4! The SPS world traced to bacteria found in human waste Park to its limit... Variations of this endangered coral in that reef had decreased by 82 percent pollution, coral,. ) Parental Investment ; no Parental involvement ; Lifespan/Longevity the water for.! Fast growing species and is a moderately difficult species: bottlebrush acroporas have short branches! The antler-like shape of its colonies white-band disease, pollution, coral bleaching, and peaceful a lush plant... We are restoring the world ’ s branches can increase in length as fast as 2-4 inches year! Researchers documented the first case of white pox disease in a reef off the coast of Broward County,.! Slime when bothered to the substrate as federally threatened under the endangered species Act Mac Stash coral brown... To 3 years of elkhorn corals off Key Largo in the Caribbean.... But may be present down to a reef off the coast of Puerto Rico science activities Kids! Protein for people 4 million square miles of ocean and innumerable Sea life - but elkhorn coral care is still to. Viable method of propagating hardy variations of this endangered coral in the Caribbean Trachphyllia... Is destroyed by white pox disease in a closed tank/system fragmentation ( asexually ) and innumerable Sea life but! When branches break off of a mountain had decreased by 82 percent and action alerts from Oceana tips highlights...