species: Acropora nasuta in ALA: Lizard Island (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Acropora nasuta

©Lyle Vail: Acropora nasuta with characteristic blue colouration near the outer reef crest off South Island, Lizard Island Group.

©Andy Lewis: Acropora nasuta at Watson's Bay in July 2017. This specimen survived bleaching events in 2016 and 2017.

©Andy Lewis: Radial polyp detail in Acropora nasuta. Note the radial corallites evenly sized and distributed in a row, nariform with dimidiate calice openings and the openings orientated roughly perpendicular to the branch.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Cnidaria
Class Hexacorallia
Order Scleractinia
Family Acroporidae
Genus Acropora
Species Acropora nasuta
Status near threatened



Distinguishing features

A corymbose species that forms small colonies up to about 1m in breadth. The branchlets are elongate and taper towards the tip. The axial polyp is tubular and distinct, often with a different colouration to the rest of the colony. The radial corallites are evenly sized and distributed, often in neat rows and all touching, nariform with calices rounded to slightly dimidiate and calice usually perpendicular to branch. (Contributed by Andy Lewis)


  • Size data has not been obtained.


Similar taxa

  • Animalia: species: Acropora cerealis
    has less crowded radials that tend to tubular appresed/nariform in shape and often with a distinct upturned outer lip that means the calice angle to the branch axis is above the perpendicular. (Contributed by Andy Lewis)


©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

Protected shallow back reef, lagoonal, and reef flat habitats.

Abundant in shallow habitats around Lizard Island.


Like most Acroporidae, this species is a hermaphrodite broadcast spawner, releasing gametes shortly after dark in the few days after the full moon in the warmer months between November and February.

Web resources


  • Abrego, D., M.J.H. Van Oppen and B.L. Willis (2009). Onset of algal endosymbiont specificity varies among closely related species of Acropora corals during early ontogeny, Molecular Ecology, 18: 3532-3543.
  • Alvarez-Noriega, M., A.H. Baird,2, M. Dornelas, J.S. Madin, V.R. Cumbo, and S.R. Connolly (2016). Fecundity and the demographic strategies of coral morphologies, Ecology, 97(12): 3485-3493. LIRS catalog number 2048.
  • Alvarez-Noriega, M., A.H. Baird, M. Dornelas, J.S. Madin and S.R. Connolly (2018). Negligible effect of competition on coral colony growth. Ecology, 99 (6): 1347-1356. LIRS catalog number 2239.
  • View all references