Turbinaria mesenterina is an enchanting and intricate scleractinian coral species whose colonies vary from brown to bright green in colour. The colonies form swirling layers of plates which interlock and fuse giving the appearance of a stone rose.
This species is widespread and common throughout its range however, due to this unique and desirable morphology it is targeted for the aquarium trade, primarily in Indonesia, and has suffered extensive reductions as a result.
It is is an ecologically important reef building coral which provides a significant proportion of the benthic cover in reef habitats. In reef building corals, individual polyps sequester and excrete calcium carbonate as an external skeleton for protection. Specific oceanic conditions are required for polyps to synthesize and exude calcium carbonate.
There is no further species-specific population information for this species.
- Order: Scleractinia
- Family: Dendrophylliidae
- Trend: unknown
- Depth Range (m): 3 - 20m
This is a wide ranging species, seen across the Indian Ocean, South China Sea, West and Central Pacific Ocean.
Habitat and Ecology
T. mesenterina is common in shallow turbid tropical reef environments with colonies being found between 9-15m in the South China Sea and Gulf of Siam but with a maximum depth of 20m.
The species in this genus are gonochoric, an unusual trait shared by only a quarter of hard coral species. Also unusually, this species, which is a broadcast spawner was found to have a spawning season that was 4-6 months out of sync with neighboring coral species around Australia and probably other parts of the world.