species: Acropora horrida in taxonomy (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Acropora horrida

©Anne Hoggett: A large stand of Acropora horrida in the lagoon at Lizard Island

©Anne Hoggett: Acropora horrida branches showing polyps exposed during the day, Lizard Island lagoon.

©Anne Hoggett: Acropora horrida in the Lizard Island lagoon near Palfrey Island, providing habitat for many species of small fishes. Photo identified by Dr Zoe Richards who notes that this is one of the few Acropora species that has its tentacles extended during the day.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Cnidaria
Class Hexacorallia
Order Scleractinia
Family Acroporidae
Genus Acropora
Species Acropora horrida
Status insufficient data to assess



Distinguishing features

A branching to bushy Acropora, usually pale blue at Lizard Island with white or pale blue polyps. Tentacles are usually extended during the day.


  • Size data has not been obtained.



Dr Zoe Richards (WA Museum) notes that this species is declining in abundance on reefs throughout its distribution. It used to be quite common at Orpheus Island but is now rare there.

There was a good stand of it between Palfrey and South Islands at Lizard Island in Jan 2015 but Zoe estimates that it was 98% dead in Jan 2017 due to the bleaching event in 2016.

Zoe observed coral egg/sperm bundles in the water on 14 Jan 2015 in that area and thought they might have been from this species.

by Anne Hoggett


©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Veron, J.E.N. (2000). Corals of the World Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville.

Other references

  • Pratchett, M.S. (2010). Changes in coral assemblages during an outbreak of Acanthaster planci at Lizard Island, northern Great Barrier Reef (1995-1999), Coral Reefs, 29: 717-725. LIRS catalog number 1344.