Maze coral

Meandrina meandrites

''Meandrina meandrites'', commonly known as maze coral, is a species of colonial stony coral in the family Meandrinidae. It is found primarily on outer coral reef slopes in the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico.
Maze Coral Sep 10, 2017. Buddy's Reef, Bonaire.
A classic brain coral, forming hemispheres which may reach 1 m across, though usually smaller. Some colonies are columnar, with heights 3 or 4 times their width.
Septa are large, thick and even, usually all the same size and lack spines. A ribbon-like collumella is usually clearly visible. Colour is usually cream, with greenish and brown tints. Tentacles may be visible in daytime (but are smaller than those of Dendrogyra with which columnar forms could be confused). Caribbean Netherlands,Geotagged,Maze coral,Meandrina meandrites,Summer

Appearance

''Meandrina meandrites'' forms massive hemispherical heads or develops into substantial flat plates and can grow to nearly 1 metre in diameter. Some small colonies are cone-shaped and are not attached to the substrate. These resemble young colonies of rose coral and may be found in sandy or muddy areas some way from reefs. The corallites, the calcareous cups secreted by the polyps, are 1 to 2 cm wide. The raised walls between the corallites are formed from fine but widely separated transverse ridges called septae and meander over the surface of the coral. There is a slight indentation running along the crest of the walls where the septae from adjoining corallites meet. The polyps are large but are only protruded at night when they cover and obscure the skeleton of the coral.
Maze Coral, South Water Caye, Belize  Belize,Dangriga,Meandrina meandrites

Distribution

''Meandrina meandrites'' is found in Bermuda, Florida, the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Bahamas. It mainly occurs on the seaward sides of reefs but does also occur on back slopes. Its favoured depth range is 8 to 30 metres but it occurs at any depth less than 80 metres . It tolerates locations with high levels of sedimentation and turbidity. It is generally a common species and is the coral most frequently seen in the deeper parts of its range.
Maze coral (Meandrina meandrites) Cozumel, Quintana Roo, Mexico. Jul 17, 2017
 Geotagged,Maze coral,Meandrina meandrites,Mexico,Summer

Status

The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species lists ''Meandrina meandrites'' as being of "Least Concern". This is because, although it is effected by coral bleaching, it is more resistant than some other species and usually recovers. It is also subject to coral diseases such as white plague and black band disease. Another factor that helps to maintain populations is the high level of recruitment of juvenile corals which is in contrast to the recruitment failures of the pineapple coral . The chief threats it faces, as do other reef corals, are raised sea temperatures, ocean acidification and reef destruction. It is present in a number of marine parks which gives it some level of protection.

Habitat

''Meandrina meandrites'' is found in Bermuda, Florida, the Caribbean Sea, the Gulf of Mexico and the Bahamas. It mainly occurs on the seaward sides of reefs but does also occur on back slopes. Its favoured depth range is 8 to 30 metres but it occurs at any depth less than 80 metres . It tolerates locations with high levels of sedimentation and turbidity. It is generally a common species and is the coral most frequently seen in the deeper parts of its range.

References:

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Status: Unknown
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Taxonomy
KingdomAnimalia
DivisionCnidaria
ClassAnthozoa
OrderScleractinia
FamilyMeandrinidae
GenusMeandrina
Species