[Coral-List] "Brain Coral" spawn in St Croix, USVI

MelissaE Keyes melissae.keyes at yahoo.com
Fri Sep 11 08:04:42 EDT 2009

Hello, Listers,

I failed to report a spawning event last month because I didn't see it, and because the people who told me about it are not very well informed.  Seven or eight members of a local dive clup got in the sea at sunset on August 12 to see the spawn.  I didn't go with them because it wa too early, corals spawn at 22:00 to 23:00, no?  And my camera was off being repaired.

I saw some of these divers several days later, and they were excited to tell me that they had seen the corals spawning.  I asked what time, and it was agreed about 8pm, 20:00, and that the corals were "Brain Coral"  Only one person said "duh" when I asked what kind of coral, but they all said "Duh" when I asked what kind of brain coral.  Non of them had dived with a camera.

And, long ago, before anything was known about Caribbean coral spawning, I observed Diploria labyrinthiformus spawning at dusk, just before sunset.  Foureye Butterflyfish, Chaetodon capistratus were rushing around in groups of ten to fifteen attacking this one type of coral, madly pecking away at the surface of the coral.  I waved away the fish at one coral, and the eggbundles started rising out of the coral.  The coral quit spawning as the fish attacked, and started again several minutes after the fish left.  I doubt very many eggs survived the onslaught.  The fish's bellies were bloated.  And they did look like butterflies as they were feasting.



Melissa E. Keyes
St. Croix, 
U.S.Virgin Islands


More information about the Coral-List mailing list