Marine Invertebrate of the Week: Crust Coral

Crust Coral (Leptastrea purpurea)

Crust coral, Leptastrea purpurea, are cnidarians in the family Faviidae. We are lucky to have seen this coral in Waikiki because it is actually very rare in the main Hawaiian Islands. In the picture, you can see the large corallites connected together by smooth, white tissue. A corallite is comprised of the coral polyp and the calyx. The calyx is the calcium carbonate skeleton that holds the coral polyp.

Visit the NOAA Ocean Service Education website to learn more about the anatomy of a coral polyp.

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