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Rose coral
Manicina areolata
(Linnaeus, 1758)

This species occurs into two distinct growth forms. The most common form consists of small elliptical colonies with a long, continuous central valley and several short side valleys and a cone-shaped underside. The second form consists of hemispherical heads with winding valleys and ridges, and a flattish underside. The valleys are very wide, often between 10 and 15 mm. The colonies are small, often less than 10 cm.

Brown to yellow-brown, gray or green. Ridges and valleys are often of contrasting shades or different color.

Septa in more than 3 complete cycles, with 12-24 septa per cm. The thickness of the septa in the different cycles is unequal, and the thickness of the costae is unequal as well. The columella is continuous between the corallite centers and is about a third of the corallite width.

The small elliptical colonies inhabit areas of coral rubble, and Turtle grass (Thalassia testudinum ), and are often unattached. The hemispherical heads inhabit reef slopes, down to 60 m, and are attached.

Common to occasional Florida, Bahamas and Caribbean.

Rose coral (Manicina areolata)