Coral spawning in Key Largo

Coral Health and Monitoring Program coral at
Mon Sep 9 21:08:42 EDT 1996

---------- Forwarded message ---------- 
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 1996 20:17:52 -0400 
From: REEF003 at 
To: owner-coral-list at 
Subject: coral spawning 

Hello All, 

Just a few notes from the field. 

On the evening of Wednesday Sept. 04, mass spawning of numerous M. annularis 
colonies were observed.  Both fast and slow release of bundles were observed 
between 11:11pm and 11:59 (EST) at Key Largo Dry Rocks ( 25 07.45 N, 80 17.80 
W).  The majority of colonies located at this site are in shallow water (<4m) 
and very large in size.  Although some activity was witnessed on the evening 
of September 03, most colonies spawned in a mass event on the 4th. 

One item of interest came about while looking at slides taken during the 
event.  Macro photography of a slow release M. annularis colony revealed what 
appears to be release of a white milky substance following release of its egg 
bundle.  Numerous slides show different polyps exhibiting this behavior.  I 
was under the impression that M. annularis bundles contained both eggs and 
sperm that would not be visible until the bundle had broken.  The photography 
also shows bundles in the process of breaking (partially due to predation by 
fireworms).  No white substance is visible in the breaking bundles, only 
small eggs.  Any ideas? 

No other species were observed spawning on either the 3rd or 4th, though 
there were not many other species present in the area we dived.  Predation by 
Silversides, brittle stars, fireworms, very small worms of unknown species 
and unknown herring-like fish was heavy during the entire spawning event. 
 The Silversides and Herring like fish seeming most voracious. 

No reports from this area have been heard from the night of the 5th. 

Anyone else see anything good? 

Laddie Akins 
Executive Director 
reef003 at 

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