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Eight-ray finger coral
Madracis formosa
Wells, 1973

Description:
Colonies form densely packed clumps of thick, relatively short branches with blunt and occasionally expanded and double-lobed tips. Colony up to 1.5 m in diameter

Color:
Tan to yellow-brown, yellow-green, green and brown; polyp's mouth yellow.

Corallites:
Corallites separated, up to 1.0-1.3 mm in diameter, usually with eight septa. Columella massive, styliform.

Habitat:
Inhabit deep outer reefs, often on outcroppings and ledges along wall, between 20 and 70 meters.

Remarks:
Some other species of the genus occur on Curacao: Madracis decactis , 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.

Eight-ray finger coral (Madracis formosa)