[Coral-List] Reproduction in Montastraea cavernosa

Jessica Jarett jjarett at gmail.com
Wed Aug 3 21:06:22 EDT 2011

Dear Coral-List,

I am trying to determine sex ratios and measure egg production in female
colonies of Montastraea cavernosa at Lee Stocking Island in the Bahamas, but
I am having trouble finding any reproductively active colonies and I am
hoping that someone can offer some advice.

My sites are between 50’ – 60’ in depth, I am sampling from medium to large
size colonies (at least 200 square cm, some much larger), and I avoid
sampling from the edges of colonies. I use a 1/2" steel hole punch to
collect single polyps, being sure to collect the entire polyp. I fix the
polyps and break them in half to look for gametes under a dissecting scope.
I have looked at 30+ colonies so far and all that I have seen is a handful
of small eggs in a couple of colonies.

I am unsure if M. cavernosa spawned after the July full moon, and perhaps
that is why I am not finding any gametes. Has anyone observed spawning in
this species this year, or have any predictions on which month it might
occur in? Any other ideas or suggestions on why I am not finding
reproductively active colonies would be very much appreciated.


Jess Jarett

Jessica Jarett
Ph.D. candidate
University of New Hampshire
Department of Molecular, Cellular, and Biomedical Sciences
Rudman Hall, 2nd floor
46 College Road
Durham NH 03824

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