coral ranges and distributions

dfenner at dfenner at
Wed Dec 19 18:32:31 EST 2001

Fellow coral-listers,
    For those of you interested in the ranges of individual coral species, may I recommend the recent 3-volume book by JEN Veron, "Corals of the World".  For all 793 currently recognized species of zooxanthellate corals in the world there is a map of the range.  Although the ranges are shown, individual locations at which the species have been found are not indicated.  You can find out more about the book at
    I have a paper in press with the Bulletin of Marine Science that gives all known locations for 3 species of Caribbean corals ("Biogeography of three Caribbean corals...").  The paper includes an extensive bibliography of papers that present checklists of corals in the West Indies, Gulf of Mexico, and Florida.  That bibliography could be used to map other species.
    Several authors have commented that most corals found in the Caribbean are found throughout the Caribbean.  Only one coral species has been documented to have a range extending to only part of the Caribbean, Millepora squarrosa in the SE Caribbean.  Two others known so far from only part of the Caribbean are Millepora striata and Leptoseris cailetti.  Most Caribbean species also extend outside the Caribbean, but to a variable extent- to Florida, the Gulf of Mexico, Bermuda, Brazil, Africa, or the east coast of the US.  -Doug
Douglas Fenner
Australian Institute of Marine Science
Townsville, Queensland, Australia
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