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Montipora aequituberculata.jpg
Montipora aequituberculata
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Scleractinia
Family: Acroporidae
Genus: Montipora
Blainville, 1830[1][2]
  • Manopora Dana, 1846

Montipora is a genus of Scleractinian corals in the phylum Cnidaria. Members of the genus Montipora may exhibit many different growth morphologies. With eighty five known species,[1] Montipora is the second most species rich coral genus after Acropora.[3]


Growth morphologies for the genus Montipora include submassive, laminar, foliaceous, encrusting, and branching.[4][5] It is not uncommon for a single Montipora colony to display more than one growth morphology.[5] Healthy Montipora corals can be a variety of colors, including orange, brown, pink, green, blue, purple, yellow, grey, or tan.[5] Although they are typically uniform in color, some species, such as Montipora spumosa or Montipora verrucosa, may display a mottled appearance.[5]

Montipora corals have the smallest corallites of any coral family.[5] Columellae are not present.[5] Coenosteum and corallite walls are porous, which can result in elaborate structures.[5] The coenosteum of each Montipora species is different, making it useful for identification.[5] Polyps are typically only extended at night.[5]

Montipora corals are commonly mistaken for members of the genus Porites based on their visual similarities, however, Porites can be distinguished from Montipora by examining the structure of the corallites.[5]


Montipora corals are common on reefs and lagoons of the Red Sea, the western Indian Ocean and the southern Pacific Ocean, but are entirely absent in the Atlantic Ocean.[4]


Montipora corals are hermaphroditic broadcast spawners.[6] Spawning typically happens in spring.[6] The eggs of Montipora corals already contain zooxanthellae, so none is obtained from the environment.[6][7] This process is known as direct or vertical transmission.[3]

Montipora corals are preyed upon by corallivorous fish, such as butterflyfish.[8] Montipora corals are known to host endo- and ectoparasites such as Allopodion mirum and Xarifia extensa.[1] A currently undescribed species of nudibranch in the genus Phestilla has also been reported in the scientific and aquarium hobbyist literature to feed on the genus.[9]

Montipora corals are susceptible to the same stresses as other Scleractinian corals, such as anthropogenic pollution, sediment, algal growth, and other competitive organisms.[6]

Evolutionary history[edit]

A 2007 study found that the genus Montipora formed a strongly supported clade with Anacropora, making it the genus with the closest genetic relationship to Montipora.[10] It is thought that Anacropora evolved from Montipora relatively recently.[7]




  1. ^ a b c d World Register of Marine Species link: Montipora Blainville, 1830 (+species list)
  2. ^ "Montipora". Integrated Taxonomic Information System.
  3. ^ a b van Oppen, Madeleine J.H. (2004). "Mode of zooxanthella transmission does not affect zooxanthella diversity in acroporid corals". Marine Biology. 144: 1–7. doi:10.1007/s00227-003-1187-4.
  4. ^ a b Van Oppen, M.J.H; Koolmees, E.M.; J.E.N, Veron (2004). "Patterns of evolution in the scleractinian coral genus Montipora (Acrroporidae)". Marine Biology. 144: 9–18. doi:10.1007/s00227-003-1188-3.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g h i j Veron, J.E.N (1986). Corals of Australia and the Indo-Pacific. London: Angus & Robertson Publishers. pp. 92–121.
  6. ^ a b c d Richmond, Robert (1997). Reproduction and Recruitment in Corals. pp. 175–197.
  7. ^ a b Fukami, Hironobu; Omari, Makoto; Hatta, Masayuki (2000). "Phylogenetic relationships in the coral family Acroporidae, reassessed by inference from mitochondrial genes". Zoological Science. 17 (5): 689–696. doi:10.2108/zsj.17.689. PMID 18517306.
  8. ^ Berumen, Michael; Pratchett, Morgan S. (2006). "Recovery without resilience: persistent disturbance and long-term shifts in the structure of fish and coral communities at Tiahura reef, Moorea". Coral Reefs. 25 (4): 647–653. doi:10.1007/s00338-006-0145-2.
  9. ^ Fritts-Penniman, Allison Louise (2016). "Ecological Speciation and Cryptic Diversity of Coral-Associated Nudibranchs". UCLA. Retrieved 21 June 2019. CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
  10. ^ Wallace, C.C; et al. (2007). "Recognition of separate genera within Acropora based on new morphological, reproductive, and genetic evidence from Acropora togianensis, and elevation of the subgenus Isopora Studer, 1878 to genus (Scleractinia: Astrocoeniidae; Acroporidae)". Coral Reefs. 26 (2): 231–239. doi:10.1007/s00338-007-0203-4.