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Cactus coral
Mycetophyllia spp.
Three species of this genus are recorded from the Leeward Island group: Mycetophyllia ferox , Mycetophyllia aliciae and Mycetophyllia reesi .

Description:
Colonies form flat plates, mounds and hemispherical domes. The upper surfaces of M. aliciae and M. ferox are covered with ridges that often run towards the colonies' center. The colony, and especially their ridges, appear fleshy (Mycetophyllia spp.).
M. aliciae has open valleys and sometimes even independent ridges, while in M. ferox , the valleys are closed. M. reesi lacks ridges, and the fleshy surface is covered with rounded bumps with the polyps located at the center. The polyps lack tentacles. Colonies of M. aliciae can reach 45 cm in diameter, while these of M. ferox and M. reesi are somewhat larger and can reach 60 cm in diameter.

Color:
The ridges and corallites of M. aliciae are often of light colors, contrasting with darker valleys in shades of green, brown or gray. The ridges of M. ferox often contrast with darker valleys in shades of green, red-brown, brown or gray. M. reesi is found in shades of green, brown, gray, blue-gray and may have iridescent tints.

Corallites:
The corallite size varies between 1 and 2 cm. The columella is trabecular and discontinuous between the corallite centers, although there is a lamellar linkage.

Habitat:
M. aliciae and M. reesi inhabit most moderate to deep reefs environments, down to 70 m, while M. ferox tends to inhabit shaded areas of midrange reefs, down to 40 m.

Distribution:
M. aliciae and M. ferox are found occasionally in Florida, Bahamas and Caribbean, while M. reesi is only found in the Caribbean.

Cactus coral (Mycetophyllia spp.)