Identification guides for hard coral recruits ...

andrew baird andrewbaird at
Thu Sep 7 12:22:45 EDT 2000

Dear Angela
Sender: owner-coral-list at

The SEMs you refer to in English et al. (1994) are based on the work of Dr
Russ Babcock. A more extensive collection of Russ's SEM are presented in
Babcock (1992). This work includes photos of representative juveniles,
raised from known parents, of 11 of the 15 Families of scleractinian
corals. Babcock's conclusion was that only 3 Familes have sufficient
characteristics to enable unequivocal classification, the Acroporidae, the
Pocilloporidae and the Poritiidae. This is the generally accepted level of
resolution in the literature. Isoporan acroporids can also be distinguished
early on because they are much larger at settlement than other acroporids.
Recent work by Baird & Babcock (2000) demonstrates that within the
Pocilloporidae the genera can be distinguished by the diameter of the
primary coralite (I have included the abstract below). Dr Babcock,  Dr
Bette Willis, and I have continued this work and have now reared the larvae
of 32 species from 20 genera in 13 Families of Indo-Pacific corals. We hope
to have this work ready for publication very shortly.

Babcock RC (1992) Measuring coral recruitment. In: Workshop on coral and
fish recruitment. Report Number 7. Boliano Marine Laboratory, Marine
Science Institute, University of the Philippines. ISBN 642 19281 2.=20

English et al. (1997) Ed.  Survey manual for tropical marine resource.
Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville 368p

Baird & Babcock (2000) Morphological differences among three species of
newly settled pocilloporid coral recruits.

ABSTRACT: The study of the life history of corals is hampered by an
inability to identify early recruits. In this study, the pattern of
formation and morphology of the juvenile skeleton of three laboratory
reared pocilloporids, Seriatopora hystrix, Stylophora pistillata and
Pocillopora damicornis, was compared to determine whether they could be
reliably distinguished. The pattern of skeleton formation, including the
origin and structure of the septa, columella and corallite wall was similar
in all species. Following the completion of the primary corallite wall
after 4-5 days these species could be identified by differences in the
diameter of the primary corallite. The mean diameter (=B1 SE) of each specie=
differed markedly: S. hystrix 400 =B1 2.7 mm, range 325-450 mm;  S.
pistillata 505 =B1 3.5 mm, range 400-550 mm; P. damicornis 697 =B1 7.5 mm,
range 492-885 mm. Values for  the primary corallite diameter overlapped in
only 3 % of samples demonstrating the potential utility of this feature as
a tool for classifying recruits obtained from the field.
English S, Wilkinson C, Baker V (1994) Survey manual for tropical marine
resources. In: (eds.) Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville,
p. 368


ANDREW BAIRD		PHONE: 	AH 61 (0)2 9460 9958
14 GREENDALE ST			BH  61 (0)2 9460 8249
GREENWICH NSW 2065	FAX	61 (2) 85885471
AUSTRALIA		EMAIL :	andrewbaird at

More information about the Coral-list-old mailing list