Coral spawning in SE Asia

James Rolfe Guest scip9051 at
Fri Jun 1 11:40:48 EDT 2001

Dear Julie and coral-list,

I can help with the one part of your second question regarding coral
spawning in South East Asia/Indonesia. Actually very little is known about
the reproductive cycles of SE Asian corals. As far as I know, the only
observation of a coral mass spawning in SE Asia is from the Philippines in
May 1981 during the 4th International Coral Reef Symposium. The only
published accounts come from the Philippines and from Singapore. Bermas et
al (1992) report that a number of hard and soft corals in the Philippines
spawn between April and May. In Singapore Chou and Quek (1992) reported that
Pocillopora damicornis releases planulae around the new moon each month.
Also in Singapore, I have done histological examination of Diploastrea
heliopora and Goniopora spp. I saw that D. heliopora contained very mature
gametes in late March 2000 suggesting a late march or April spawning.
Conversely, Goniopora spp. contained very mature gametes in October and
November 1999 and 2000 suggesting an October or November spawning for that

I have gathered some other anecdotal observations of coral spawning in

Anambas Island: spawning of Pachyseris spp. observed in May 1996 
North Mollucas: observations of Acroporids with 'ripe gonads' in September
Komodo: release of egg bundles from Acroporids observed 6 nights after
October full moon 1998

Here are the references that I mentioned above, plus a couple of others you
should look at to find out more about coral spawning in other parts of the

Bermas et al (1992). Observations on the reproduction of scleractinian and
soft corals in the Philippines. Proceedings of the Seventh International
Coral Reef Symposium, Guam. Vol 1 pp 443-447.

Chou and Quek (1992). Planulation in the scleractinian coral Pocillopora
damicornis in Singapore waters. Proceedings of the Seventh International
Coral Reef Symposium, Guam. (abstract) Vol 1 pp 500. 

Harrison and Wallace (1990) Reproduction, dispersal and recruitment of
scleractinian corals. In: Ecosystems of the
World, Coral Reefs, (ed) Dubinsky, Z, Vol 25 pp 133 - 207.

Richmond and Hunter (1990) Reproduction and recruitment of corals:
comparisons among the Caribbean, the Tropical Pacific and the Red Sea.
Marine Ecology Progress Series, Vol 60 pp185 - 203.

Best wishes,


James R. Guest
Research Scholar
Tropical Marine Science Institute
National University of Singapore
14 Kent Ridge Crescent
Tel: (65) 7787112
Fax: (65) 7749654
E-mail: scip9051 at
           jrguest at

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