Turbinaria patula is an evolutionarily distinct colonial species composed of plate like colony branches and tubular corallites which extend characteristically towards colony edges.
This dull coloured species favours shallow rocky habitats in sub-tropical locations.
Turbinaria patula is a colonial, stony coral species meaning that as the individual animals (polyps) of this species grow they exude calcium carbonate to form exoskeletons (corallites) for protection. Specific oceanic conditions are required for polyps to synthesize and exude calcium carbonate. Like other Turbinaria corals, their large structures will provide important habitat diversity within reef ecosystems.
The most significant threat to this coral is considered to be temperature induced coral bleaching.
- Order: Scleractinia
- Family: Dendrophylliidae
- Trend: unknown
- Depth Range (m): 7 - 20
This species is found in the shallow, tropical waters of the central Indo-Pacific, tropical and sub-tropical Australia, South China Sea, and the oceanic West Pacific.
Habitat and Ecology
T.patula is found on inshore reefs and shallow rocky foreshores in subtropical locations where they can form plates which can reach over 1 m in diameter.
This species, along with the rest of the genus, is gonochoric. This is unusual for corals and means that there are separate male and female sexes. Individuals in this species spawn in synchrony, ejecting eggs and sperm en masse into the ocean for external fertilization.