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Related FAQs: Merulinids 1, Merulinids 2, & FAQs on: Merulinid Identification, Merulinid Behavior, Merulinid Compatibility, Merulinid Selection, Merulinid Systems, Merulinid Feeding, Merulinid Disease, Merulinid Reproduction/Propagation, & Stony/True Coral, Coral System Set-Up, Coral System Lighting, Stony Coral Identification, Stony Coral Selection, Coral PlacementFoods/Feeding/Nutrition, Disease/Health, Propagation, Growing Reef CoralsStony Coral Behavior, SPS Identification, SPS Behavior, SPS Compatibility, SPS Selection, SPS Systems, SPS Feeding, SPS Disease, SPS Reproduction,

Related Articles: Small Polyp Stony CoralsStony or True Corals, Order Scleractinia, Dyed Corals,

/The Best Livestock For Your Reef Aquarium:

 Corals of the Family Merulinidae

Bob Fenner

Hydnophora exesa

Family Merulinidae Verrill 1866. Five extant genera, all Pacific. All hermatypic. Readily identified by the families characteristic fused corallite wall/mounds called hydnophores. Strong septa are apparent even in open colonies.

Aquarium Care:

Hardy once established, but easily broken, given to tissue recession at first, bleaching from lack of light. Most require strong lighting, moderate current.

Genus Echinopora (placed in the family Faviidae in the recent past.... see there as well)

Echinopora fructiculosa, Red Sea, Sinai pix
   

 

Genus Hydnophora Fischer de Waldheim 1807, Horn, Velvet, Knob Coral. Have short tentacles that originate at base of their hydnophores. More than capable of strongly stinging other sessile invertebrates. Eager feeders on sizeable meaty foodstuffs. Easily reproduced through fragmentation of healthy colonies.

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Hydnophora exesa  (Pallas 1766), Occurs as both encrusting and branching forms. These colonies open during the day (wild ones only at night) in captivity.

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Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available)
Hydnophora grandis Gardiner 1904. Thicker mostly circular branching, more prominent mounds (hydnae) for bases. This colony in Bunaken/Sulawesi/Indo.

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Hydnophora rigida (Dana 1846). Thin, flattened, pointed branches. The first two images below are a smaller colony on the reef flat and one further down in slower, less lit water in Fiji, and the last a close-up in Bunaken/Sulawesi/Indo.
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Genus Merulina Ehrenberg 1834, Lettuce/Cabbage, Ruffled/Ridged Coral. Valleys are short, narrow, broadening before widening, fanning out at edges. Wandering plates to rising branches, often on the same colony. Not easy to keep in captivity.

Merulina ampliata (Ellis & Solander 1786). Colonies generally laminar, but may be tree-like.  Aquarium photo.

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Bibliography/Further Reading:

Coral Search

Borneman, Eric H. 2001. Aquarium Corals; Selection, Husbandry and Natural History. Microcosm-TFH NJ, USA. 464 pp.

Fossa, Svein A. & Alf Jacob Nilsen. 1998 (1st ed.). The Modern Coral Reef Aquarium, v.2 (Cnidarians). Bergit Schmettkamp Verlag, Borhheim, Germany. 479pp.

Hoover, John. 1998. Hawai'i's Sea Creatures. A Guide to Hawai'i's Marine Invertebrates. Mutual Publishing, Honolulu HI. 366pp. 

Humann, Paul. 1993. Reef Coral Identification; Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas. New World Publications, Inc. Jacksonville, FL.  239pp.

Perun, Blane. 2001. Never say die- Treating Hydnophora corals. TFH 8/01.

Veron, J.E.N. 1986. Corals of Australia and the Indo-Pacific. U. of HI press, Honolulu. 644 pp. 


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