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Ten-ray star coral
Madracis decactis
(Lyman, 1859)

Description:
Shallow water colonies up to 15 cm in diameter with short clubbed branches of 2-3 cm in diameter. In deeper water, the species forms encrusting colonies, sometimes with hillocks or lobes.

Color:
Purple-brown.

Corallites:
Corallites separated, 1.3-1.9 mm in diameter, usually with ten septa per corallite. Columella massive, styliform.

Habitat:
Generally present above 20 m, but more common below 30 m.

Remarks:
Some other species of the genus occur on Curacao: Madracis formosa , Madracis mirabilis , Madracis pharensis , Madracis senaria and a recent described species, Madracis carmabi . Recent investigations suggest that M. senaria and M. mirablis form monophyletic groups, while M. formosa , M. pharensis and M. decactis form a species-complex. It seems that hybridization occurs between the M. pharensis / M. decactis -complex and M. formosa and polyphenism within the M. pharensis / M. decactis -complex.

Ten-ray star coral (Madracis decactis)