Porites Pink Blotch Disease

EricHugo at aol.com EricHugo at aol.com
Sat May 8 15:57:18 EDT 1999

Technically,  disease defined is, "Any deviation from or interruption of the 
normal structure or function of any part, organ, or system (or combination 
thereof) that is manfiested by a characteristic set of signs and/or symptoms 
and whose etiology, pathology, and prognosis may be known or unknown."

Along the thoughts of Les Kaufman, I would like to add that there seems to 
frequently be a tendency to use the word "disease" to describe virtually any 
condition that causes mortality - and also to frequently assume the "disease" 
or mortality is due to unnamed and undocumented bacterial pathogens.  

There is a description of Porites tissue turning pink in a stress 
response/pre-necrotism -  Schuhmacher H (1992) Impact of some corallivorous 
snails on stony corals in the Red Sea. Proc 7th Int Coral Reef Sym 2:840-6.

We have also regularly observed highly stressed Acroporid tissue become 
brownish purple or pinkish brown prior to sloughing in aquaria, fwiw.   

Eric Borneman

In a message dated 5/8/99 9:47:15 AM, lesk at bio.bu.edu writes:

<< at least these
species, and probably many other Porites, exhibit a pinkish or purplish
discoloration in response to virtually any persistent insult- be they
parasites, necrosis near fish bite marks, margins of advance by competing
assemblages of endolith/algal turf (unsure who the main culprit is), or
even the edges of damselfish gardens.  I think it is misleading to refer
to this collection of processes as a single disease.  Even if there is a
disease that produces a distinct, recognizable manifestation of the pink
discoloration, neophytes will have a devil of a time distinguishing it
from all the other pinkish blotches these corals produce.  Pink in
at least some Indo-Pacific Porites means "bad hair day."  Cindy Hunter,
help us!	   >>

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