The coral is composed of many small polyps and forms large colonies approximately 2 metres across. The polyp skeleton is a dusky pink colour. However, with tentacles extended, colonies transform into a field of golden brown, sac-like tentacles, an appearance which makes this species particularly attractive and popular within the aquarium trade.
The polyps extend outward in a spray. They are topped with a fringe of tentacles surrounding a mouth area (oral discs) that often have knob-like swollen tips. The oral discs or tentacle tips can be white or green. The tentacles can have a contrasting colour of the oral discs giving it that “daisy” appearance. They look much like a bunch of flowers.
Hence the common names like Daisy Coral, Flowerpot Coral, Sunflower Coral, and Ball Coral. It is also particularly susceptible to coral bleaching and is ranked as having the highest bleaching response when subjected to sustained periods of high water temperatures. This makes it a likely species to face extinction. It is listed as endangered in the IUCN list.
This species is primarily found on exposed shallow reef slopes down to a relatively deep maximum depth of 30m. As with most hard corals, this species is a zooxanthellate organism, meaning that it houses small photosynthetic algae (zooxanthellae) through which it obtains energy.
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