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Box fire coral
Millepora squarrosa
Lamarck, 1816

Colonies form open-ended, thick-walled, box-like structures that extend upward from an encrusting base; up to 5 cm in height. Often join to form a honeycomb pattern or encrust in a ripple wave-like pattern. The surface is smooth, covered with minute pores within which the polyps live. When the tiny polyps protrude, they appear as short, fine hairs.

Tan to mustard or brown, with reddish or lavender tints; open ends of boxes whitish.

Inhabit shallow water reef tops, covering rock and dead corals. Usually in areas with a heavy surf. May be exposed to the air in troughs of the sea.

This species has a discontinuous distribution in the Caribbean, strtching from the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, the Lesser Antilles arc to Grenada as its southern limit, with a disjunct distribution in Brazil.

Not considered toxic, although may sting sensitive bare skin.

Box fire coral (Millepora squarrosa)