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Box fire coral
Millepora squarrosa
Lamarck, 1816

Description:
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.

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

Habitat:
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.

Distribution:
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.

Remarks:
Not considered toxic, although may sting sensitive bare skin.

Box fire coral (Millepora squarrosa)