Acanthastrea bowerbanki

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Acanthastrea bowerbanki
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Scleractinia
Family: Lobophylliidae
Genus: Acanthastrea
Species: A. bowerbanki
Binomial name
Acanthastrea bowerbanki
Milne Edwards & Haime, 1851 [2]

Acanthastrea bowerbanki is a vulnerable species of coral found in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. It is threatened by crown-of-thorns starfish predation and habitat loss.


Acanthastrea bowerbanki is a small, encrusting coral. The corallites are cerioid and have irregular shapes, and there is usually an obvious central one. The colour is often mottled and is generally reddish-brown, brown or grey.[3]


It is found in the waters of Australia, Cambodia, Fiji, Indonesia, Japan, Kiribati, Malaysia, Marshall Islands, Micronesia, Nauru, New Caledonia, Norfolk Island, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Singapore, Solomon Islands, Taiwan, Thailand, Tuvalu, Vanuatu, Viet Nam and Wallis and Futuna.


Acanthastrea bowerbanki is a zooxanthellate species of coral.[2] It obtains most of its nutritional needs from the symbiotic dinoflagellates that live inside its soft tissues. These photosynthetic organisms provide the coral with organic carbon and nitrogen, sometimes providing up to 90% of their host's energy needs for metabolism and growth. Its remaining needs are met by the planktonic organisms caught by the tentacles of the polyps.[4]


This coral has a wide range but is rare throughout its range. It is particularly susceptible to attack by the crown of thorns starfish. The main threats faced by corals in general are related to climate change and the mechanical destruction of their coral reef habitats; increasing damage from extreme weather events, rising sea water temperatures and ocean acidification. The International Union for Conservation of Nature has assessed the conservation status of this species as being "vulnerable". All corals receive protection by being listed on CITES Appendix II.[1]


  1. ^ a b Turak, E.; Sheppard, C. & Wood, E. (2008). "Acanthastrea bowerbanki". IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2009.2. International Union for Conservation of Nature. Retrieved 7 November 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Hoeksema, Bert (2015). "Acanthastrea bowerbanki Milne Edwards, 1857". World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2015-08-15. 
  3. ^ "Acanthastrea bowerbanki". Australian Institute of Marine Science. Retrieved 2015-08-15. 
  4. ^ Ruppert, Edward E.; Fox, Richard, S.; Barnes, Robert D. (2004). Invertebrate Zoology (7th ed.). Cengage Learning. p. 122. ISBN 978-81-315-0104-7.