Fire Coral (millepora Alcicornis): Species Accounts
Physical characteristics: The polyps of fire coral colonies form massive, horn-shaped, upright branches. Large feeding polyps are surrounded by smaller catching-defending polyps. The feeding polyps are short and stout, with four to six short tentacles around the mouth. The catching-defending polyps are long, slender, and mouthless. The reproductive polyps are embedded in the surface of the coral. Fire coral is usually yellow or brown with white tips. The medusae of fire coral do not have tentacles and live for only a short time.
Geographic range: Fire coral lives in the Pacific and Indian oceans and in the Red and Caribbean seas. Specific distribution map not available.
Habitat: Fire coral lives on ledges and reefs in water less than 98 feet (30 meters) deep.
Diet: Fire coral feeds on animal plankton, mostly crustaceans.
Behavior and reproduction: Scientists do not know how fire coral behaves. It reproduces by the budding of tiny medusae from the polyp colony. These medusae live only a few hours, but before dying, they release eggs and sperm. Fertilization occurs in the water, and larvae develop, settle, and form new colonies.
Fire coral and people: The stings of fire coral cause severe burns.
Conservation status: Fire coral is not threatened or endangered. ∎
- Hydroids: Hydrozoa - No Common Name (distichopora Violacea): Species Accounts
- Hydroids: Hydrozoa - Behavior And Reproduction
- Other Free Encyclopedias
Animal Life ResourceJellyfish, Sponges, and Other Simple AnimalsHydroids: Hydrozoa - Physical Characteristics, Behavior And Reproduction, Fire Coral (millepora Alcicornis): Species Accounts, No Common Name (distichopora Violacea): Species Accounts - GEOGRAPHIC RANGE, HABITAT, DIET, HYDROIDS AND PEOPLE, CONSERVATION ST