Asexual reproduction in Montastrea cavernosa

Coats, Sean Scoats at
Wed Nov 3 12:44:03 EST 1999

I have received several replies to my earlier question and it seems that
I need to clarify my question.  I have to apologize for not using the
correct terminology, but I do not know what else to call it.  One of our
M. cavernosa started forming bulbous projections on its surface about a
year ago.  Two weeks ago one of these projections started tearing away
from the main colony.  This "polyp ball" had formed its own skeleton.  I
cut the "ball" off of the main colony with scissors and placed it in a
holding system.  After one week it had four polyps.  I am assuming that
it will continue to grow and attach to the current substrate.  In
Delbeek and Sprung they describe this in Pacific species and call it
"coral balls".  Is there some other more scientific name for this type
of asexual reproduction?  Julian Sprung wrote be back and stated that he
had seen this phenomena in the wild, but I am looking for a literature
citation. Thanks and sorry again for the confusion.

R. Sean Coats
Sr. Biologist
The Florida Aquarium, Inc
701 Channelside Dr.
Tampa, FL 33602
(813) 273-4158
scoats at

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