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Examples of identifying species

Identifying a species can range from being very easy, to nearly impossible with the naked eye.  Soft corals notoriously fall into the difficult to ID.  As a result, we all need to be very cautious and avoid using assumptions when ID'ing a soft corals. 

Below are some anatomy features to corals, as well as some examples of soft coral ID, to demonstrate the potential difficulty.

Corallite example: Genus Favia

Corallite example: Genus Pocillopora

Corallite example: Genus Acropora

Example of Ridges and Valleys

Note that width of the valley is a common measurement tool used to ID different meandroid species

Types of Branching

Types of branching is to describe colonies that have secondary branches, meaning branches that come off the first branch.  Forms that don’t have secondary branches are grouped within the terms of Corallite colony arrangements

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Corallite example: Genus Mussa

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