Montastraea Annularis
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Montastraea Annularis

Orbicella annularis
Scientific classification edit
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Scleractinia
Family: Merulinidae
Genus: Orbicella
O. annularis
Binomial name
Orbicella annularis
(Ellis and Solander, 1786) [1]
  • Astrea annularis (Ellis & Solander, 1786)
  • Heliastrea annularis (Ellis & Solander, 1786)
  • Madrepora annularis Ellis & Solander, 1786
  • Montastraea annularis (Ellis & Solander, 1786)
  • Montastrea annularis (Ellis & Solander, 1786) [lapsus]
Orbicella annularis at Molasses Reef, Florida Keys

Orbicella annularis, commonly known as the boulder star coral, is a species of coral that lives in the western Atlantic Ocean and is the most thoroughly studied and most abundant species of reef-building coral in the Caribbean to date.[2] It also has a comprehensive fossil record within the Caribbean.[3][4] This species complex has long been considered a generalist that exists at depths between 0 and 80 meters[5] that grew into varying colony shapes (heads, columns, plates) in response to differing light conditions.[6] Only recently with the help of molecular techniques has O. annularis been shown to be a complex of at least three separate species.[7][8][9] Those species are divided into O. annularis, O. faveolata, and O. franksi. This coral was originally described as Montastraea annularis.


  1. ^ a b Hoeksema, Bert (2015). "Orbicella annularis (Ellis & Solander, 1786)". WoRMS. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2015.
  2. ^ Dawson, J. P. 2006. "Quantifying the colony shape of the Montastraea annularis species complex." Coral Reefs. Vol. 25:383-389.
  3. ^ Budd, A. F.; Stemann, T. A.; Johnson, K. G. 1994. "Stratigraphic distributions of Neogene to recent Caribbean coral reefs." J Paleontol. Vol. 68:951-977.
  4. ^ Budd, A. F.; Klaus, J. S. The origin and early evolution of the Montastraea 'annularis' species complex (Anthozoa: Scleractinia)." J Paleontol. Vol. 75:527-545.
  5. ^ Connell, J. H. 1978. "Diversity in tropical rain forests and coral reefs." Science. Vol. 199:1302-1310.
  6. ^ Graus, R. R.; Macintyre, I. G. 1976. "Control of form in colonial corals: computer simulation." Science. Vol. 193:895-897.
  7. ^ Knowlton, N.; Weil, E.; Weigt, L. A.; Guzman, G. M. 1992. "Sibling species of Montastraea annularis, coral bleaching, and the coral climate record." Science. Vol. 255:330-333.
  8. ^ Weil, E.; Knowlton, N. 1994. "A multi-character analysis of the Caribbean coral Montastraea annularis (Ellis and Solander 1786) and its two sibling species, M. faveolata (Ellis and Solander 1786) and M. franksi (Gregory 1895)." Bulletin of Marine Science. Vol. 55:151-175.
  9. ^ Knowlton, N.; Budd, A. F. 2001. "Recognizing coral species present and past. In: Jackson JBC, Lidgard, S.; McKinney, F. K. (eds) "Evolutionary Patterns: growth, form, and tempo in the fossil record"

Further reading

  • Lopez, J.V., Kersanach, R., Rehner, S.A., Knowlton, N. (1999) Molecular determination of species boundaries in corals: Genetic analysis of the Montastraea annularis complex using amplified fragment length polymorphisms and a microsatellite marker. Biol. Bull. 196:80-93.
  • Fukami H, Budd AF, Levitan DR, Jara J, Kersanach R, Knowlton N. (2004) Geographic differences in species boundaries among members of the Montastraea annularis complex based on molecular and morphological markers. Evolution. 2004 Feb;58(2):324-37.

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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