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Restored Mountainous Star Coral Spawning 2020

Mountainous star coral

Orbicella faveolataa

Today's Research for Tomorrow's Oceans

Species Type:


Common Name(s):

Mountainous star coral


Mountainous star corals are relatively large, as hinted in its name. Their colonies range from 1 to 10 feet (0.3-3 meters) in height.


Zooxanthellae- the algae residing inside the coral's tissues - provide almost all of the food and energy to its host. Soaking in the sun's rays, the algae converts it into energy through a process called photosynthesis.

Range & Habitat:

Throughout the Caribbean Sea, western Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, living in depths of 1.64- 311.8 feet (0.5-95 meters).


Mountainous star coral has a unique algae called D symbionts that provide it food and energy. Found throughout the western Atlantic Ocean, Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico, this coral species has an extremely slow growth rate. It takes mountainous star coral 3-8 years to sexually mature for reproduction. In sync with the moon phases, these corals wait for a full moon to release gametes into the water. After released, some will become fertilized by other released gametes in the surrounding area.