Pocillopora verrucosa (3)
Type species: Pocillopora acuta Lamarck, 1816 [= P. damicornis, (Linnaeus, 1758)]
Total number of species estimated: 5
Characteristics: Corals zooxanthellate, branched with polyps based on immersed calices that occur on or in between short wart-like protuberances called verrucae (Veron and Pichon, 1976). Coenosteum in between calices covered by evenly distributed fine spines that are almost invisible to the naked eye. Colour predominantly brown or cream due to zooxanthellae; otherwise, additional pigmentation of the corals may cause a pink or purple appearance.
Ecology: Common on reef flats and slopes exposed to wave energy.
Range: widespread in the tropical Indo-Pacific.
Additional remarks: the species are highly variable in shape.
Key references: Veron and Pichon, 1976; Veron, 1986, 2000.