AppearanceColonies of "Seriatopora hystrix" formed a tangled, bushy clump of fragile, slender, tapering branches with pointed tips. These clumps can grow to a metre across. In shallow positions with strong water movement the branches are thicker than they are in deeper or turbid habitats in sheltered positions. The corallites form neat rows of oval cup-shaped depressions with raised rims from which the polyps protrude at night. This coral can be cream, pink, yellow, brown or blue.
Distribution"Seriatopora hystrix" is native to the Indo-Pacific region. Its range extends from East Africa, Madagascar and the Red Sea through the Indian Ocean to tropical Australia, Japan, the South China Sea and the island groups in the West and Central Pacific. It occurs on reefs and reef flats, mostly at depths between 3 and 15 m.
StatusThe threats faced by "Seriatopora hystrix" and other corals include ocean acidification, climate change and habitat loss. It is gathered for the reef aquarium trade and in 2005, the total number of pieces exported worldwide was about 15,000. However "S. hystrix " has a wide range and is a common species, and may be more resilient than other species of coral. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed its conservation status as being of "least concern".
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