Heliopora coerulea

Heliopora coerulea natural reef Reefscapers Maldives

Coral Description

Taxonomy:

Kingdom: Animalia >> Phylum: Cnidaria >> Class: Anthozoa >> Order: Helioporacea >> Family: Helioporidae

Appearance:

  • A series of thin, vertical branches
  • Polyps give the surface a fuzzy appearance

Color: Also called “blue coral”, this coral’s skeleton is bright blue without living tissue, but actually more brown when living

Corallites: Polyps have eight transparent tentacles

Similar Species: None

Distinctive Trait: The only octocoral to produce a blue, massive skeleton, formed from its fibrocrystalline aragonite skeleton composition (an alternate form of calcium carbonate)

Habitat: Commonly occurs on intertidal reef flats