Commonly known as Pillar Coral, colonies of this species are found in flat, sheltered locations ranging from the southern tip of Florida down to the coast of Venezuela.
Pillar coral possesses one of the most distinct morphologies of any coral species, with colonies forming several large spires that may reach 2 metres in height. These colonies are typically grey or brown in colour and have a hairy appearance when polyps are extended. Despite being offered protection through a number of marine protected areas (MPAs) this species is threatened by global pressures such as climate change and ocean acidification.
- Order: Scleractinia
- Family: Meandrinidae
- Population: Unknown
- Trend: stable
- Colony Size: <200mm
- Depth Range (m): 1 - 25
This species occurs in the shallow, tropical waters of the Caribbean, southern Gulf of Mexico, Florida, and the Bahamas.
Habitat and Ecology
Colonies of this distinctive species are generally found on flat or gently sloping sheltered reef systems, most commonly between 5 – 15m deep, although they can survive in clear waters down to a depth of 25m.