Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Extra-tentacular budding

Extra-tentacular budding occurs within a coral colony where a parent corallite produces a daughter corallite, external to the wall.  The new corallite tends to be smaller than its neighbours and may appear as though it has been squeezed into the available space, giving the colony a crowded look.

Only coral genera possessing corallites with separate walls (e.g. Montastrea, p. 10 of the Coral Finder) reproduce in this manner.

Coral colonies grow and expand by an asexual process known as budding. Extra-tentacular budding occurs when daughter corallites are produced outside the corallite wall.

The budding state is used to help separate two similar looking genera. Favia (left) is dominated by intra-tentacular budding and Montastrea (right) is dominated by extra-tentacular budding.