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Yellow pencil coral
Madracis mirabilis
(Duchassaing & Michelotti, 1861)

Colonies slightly convex pillow-shaped, sometimes several meters in diameter (M. mirabilis colony). Short branches 6-10 mm in diameter, brittle, with blunt forks at the tips. Polyps often expanded during day.

Color of the living colony bright yellow.

Corallites between 1.1 and 1.6 mm in diameters, with ten or more septa. Coenosteum 1.0 mm in width. Columella massive, styliform (M. mirabilis close-up).

In water usually deeper than 6 m.

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

Yellow pencil coral (Madracis mirabilis)