Skip to main content
  • Stone coral at  Zoo Zurich.

    Stony corals

    Scleractinia

    Stony corals are able to form calcium carbonate at their base. Thus, they are the main contributors to the formation of coral reefs, the most biodiverse habitats in the oceans. These are increasingly threatened by global warming, sewage, fishing, ocean acidification and direct destruction by tourist development of the reefs.

    Related to Cnidarians, Anthozoa, Stony corals (ca. 1'500 species, probably much more)
    habitat Shallow, light-flooded tropical seashores with temperatures between 20° and 20° Celsius, not at river mouths
    habitat In colonies of thousands of individual polyps
    structure Calcareous skeleton, reef-building
    feeding By photosynthesis of algae (symbiosis), microplankton
    size Polyp few millimeters, single species up to 35 cm
    Reproduction By release of large amounts of eggs and sperm, but also by dividing of polyps, creating several new polyps
    Use States like Bahamas, Bermuda, Maldives, Tuvalu and Kiribati have been formed by the growth of stony corals, in aquarium trade and as souvenir (import only with permission CITES authorities!)
    Aquarium keeping Very costly
    Population trend Decreasing. Threatened by global warming, marine pollution, fishing, ocean acidification and direct destruction by tourist development of the reefs

    Distribution

    Verbreitungskarte Steinkorallen
    Image
    IUCN RedList