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Examples of identifying species

Identifying a species can range from being very easy, to nearly impossible with the naked eye.  Soft corals notoriously fall into the difficult to ID.  As a result, we all need to be very cautious and avoid using assumptions when ID'ing a soft corals. 

Below are some anatomy features to corals, as well as some examples of soft coral ID, to demonstrate the potential difficulty.

Genus Acropora

This genus is the easiest of the three genus’ I have listed

Below is just a single example of the genus, but will demonstrate the process and terminology

Acropora donei

A •    Colony with axial corallites

    •    Colony with branches dominant

    •    Radial corallites exsert branches large

    •    Branches middle-sized

    •    Branches becoming prostrate

    •    Radial corallites not obviously rasp-like

    •    Branch ends not conspicuously upturned

    •    Branches straight

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