Coral spawning on Lee Stocking in August

Jay Randall Reichman j.reichman at
Mon Sep 25 14:55:49 EDT 1995

This is a late note about spawning activity that was observed on North 
Perry Reef at Lee Stocking Island, Bahamas on Aug. 17 and 18. 

Aug.17: At 21:15 - 21:30 a single colony of Montastrea cavernosa was 
observed releasing a milky substance (presumed to be sperm) in a series of 
pulses.  From 21:30 - 21:45 many pink/orange balls approx. 1-2mm diameter 
(probably eggs packs from another Monastrea type) were seen in the water 
column.  The exact colonies from which these balls were released could not 
be confirmed.  Throughout the night there were dense clouds of worms, small 
fish and other juvinille organisms which were attracted to the lights. 

Aug. 18: At 21:15 - 21:45 many colonies of M. cavernosa were seen with 
white packets at the mouths of polyps with retracted tentacles.  During the 
same time large swellings were noted in the grooves of a colony of 
Copophyllia natans. 21:30, a foamy white slick was observed on the surface. 
22:00, a platy colony of Montastrea faveolata (?) released many 1-2mm 
pink/orange balls in a single pulse.  These looked to the unaided eye to be 
identical to those seen on the previous night.  The specific identy of the 
platy Montastrea is uncertain at present.  This colony was examined in the 
field by Judy Lang and was thought to be M. faveolata, however, the slide 
which we took of this colony leaves us still wondering.  The slide is being 
sent to Ernesto Weil for comment.  We may have to collect the coral during 
our return to Lee Stocking in October for "expert" identification.  22:10, 
5 brittle stars (Ophioderma rubicundum) were observed 
in an aggregation on top of another platy Montastrea adjacent to the one 
described above.  Again, there were huge amounts of worms, small fish, etc 
swarming around the lighting equipment. 

We are still waiting to hear about observations made on Lee Stocking during 

Jay Reichman 
Dept. of Zoology 
University of Texas at Austin 

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