Commonly named as the Elephant Skin Coral due to its wrinkly appearance, Pachyseris rugosa is a fairly common species on tropical reef systems within its range.
Either brown or grey, colonies develop as upright twisted plates with a deeply ingrained surface texture consisting of small ledges and channels.
Species of this genus are unusual in that they lack the ability to extend their polyps in order to catch food. Instead they have evolved a specific morphology that allows sediment to collect on the colony surface and be filtered from a close range.
This species it is particularly susceptible to coral bleaching due to increasing ocean temperatures and being harvested for the aquarium trade.
- Order: Scleractinia
- Family: Agariciidae
- Trend: unknown
- Depth Range (m): 5 - 20m
P.rugosa is a widely spread species which can be found throughout the Indian Ocean and the Red Sea, across to the Western Pacific, Australia, American Samoa and north to the South China Sea and southern Japan.
Habitat and Ecology
This species can from large mound-shaped colonies in shallow water reef systems, but is also known to form much smaller colonies on exposed sites subject to strong wave action. With the correct water conditions it can grow down to depths of 20m.