Anacropora forbesi (4)
Type species: Anacropora forbesi Ridley, 1884
Total number of species estimated: 3.
Characteristics: Corals zooxanthellate, thinly branched with no axial polyp, not encrusting at base. Polyps small (up to 1 mm in diameter), inconspicuous, slightly or not prtruding. Coenosteum with smooth appearance, due to very fine, evenly distributed, granulated spines and absence of tuberculae (Veron and Wallace, 1984). Colour predominantly brown, but not necessarily at the branch tips, which may appear white due to the local absence of zooxanthellae.
Ecology: Rare; if present, the corals are usually found in large patches on/underneath sheltered slopes or on large reef flats (like on atolls) at sites without wave impact. Due to the lack of turbulence, the deeper bottoms on which these corals dwell may be rich in fine silt deposits. This tolerance to silt does not imply that these corals necessarily occur near large river outlets with low salinity conditions.
Range: From the Seychelles in the western Indian Ocean to Fiji in the central Pacific.
Additional remarks: Due to their fragile shape, corals of this genus indicate reef environments with little turbulence.
Key references: Veron and Wallace, 1984; Veron, 1986, 2000.