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Orange Pore Coral: Montipora samarensis

Phylum: Class: Order: Family: Genus: Species:
Cnidaria Anthozoa Scleractinia Acroporidae Montipora M. samarensis

Common Names:  Orange Pore Coral, Orange Velvet Coral

Scientific Name:   Montipora samarensis

Veron Corals of the World:
Characters: Colonies are clumps of thin (up to 6mm thick) branches which may be irregularly fused or form compact thickets.  Corallites are immersed in distinctive pits.  Color: Pale brown, sometimes with white branch tips.  Similar species:  Montipora digitata which has thicker, smoother branches.  Habitat:  Shallow protected reef slopes.  Abundance:  Sometimes common.

Description:
 Orange M. samarensis  is a finely upward branching hardy coral.  The body is mainly white and the polyps are orange in color.  The actively growing tips appear white.  The polyps are small, active during the day and evenly spaced over the body of the coral but with the white body visible between the polyps.  The skeleton is relatively fragile and easily broken if bumped.

There are other color morphs of M. samarensis including green, purple and brown variations.

Montipora digitata which is a very similar appearing coral can be differentiated by the fact that the body of the coral is the same color as the polyps and the polyps are more closely spaced together than M. samarensis.  In addition, the polyps are contained in a pit on M. samarensis while the skeleton is more flat on M. digitata.

Jump to M. digitata Database Entry 

 

Natural Environment: 
Shallow protected reef environments of the central Indo-Pacific, Japan and the East China Sea, and the oceanic west Pacific

Hardiness
M. digitata  is one of the hardiest SPS corals and therefore an excellent coral for the hobbyist that wants to try their hand at SPS corals.  It also makes for a good SPS candidate in mixed reef tanks.

Lighting
Orange M. samarensis can tolerate a broad range of lighting from moderate to intense.   As with any coral, intense lighting requires slow acclimation to prevent bleaching.

Water Current:
Moderate to very strong water current.

Aggressiveness:
Low.  All corals can sting or wage chemical warfare with adjacent corals, but M. samarensis does not have strong defenses nor long sweeper tentacles and can live in close proximity to non-aggressive corals.  M. samarensis is a fast growing coral however and can quickly encroach their neighbors due to their increasing size and therefore this should be kept in mind when placing in the aquarium.

Feeding:
M. samarensis is photosynthetic and require no direct feeding.  It is unknown whether they will take any offered foods.

Supplements & Water Chemistry:
Salinity should be maintained between sg 1.024 and 1.026.
Alkalinity should be maintained in the dKH 8-12 range
Calcium should be maintained at 400 ppm or higher.
pH should be maintained between 8.1-8.4

Temperature:
Does well within a range of at least 74º to 84º F

Tank Positioning:
Best positioning is in a moderately strong water flow area in a  brightly lit area of the tank.  Due to its fast growth, place it so that the coral has some room to grow both horizontally and vertically.  It has a fairly weak skeleton and is best positioned where it won’t get accidentally bumped during tank cleaning to avoid prematurely fragging your coral.

Propagation:
The branches of the coral can be easily broken or cut into small fragments and glued to a suitable substrate.

Acknowledgements:
All photos by ReefCorner © All Rights Reserved

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