species: Acropora spathulata in ALA: LIRS and surrounds using records to Oct. 2021 (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Acropora spathulata

©Anne Hoggett: A partly bleached colony of Acropora spathulata at MacGillivray Reef in Jan 2009. Identified by Zoe Richards, Nov 2017.

©Anne Hoggett: Close-up of partly-bleached Acropora spathulata colony at MacGillivray Reef in Jan 2009.

©Anne Hoggett: A smaller colony of Acropora spathulata at MacGillivray Reef near Lizard Island in Jan 2009.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Cnidaria
Class Hexacorallia
Order Scleractinia
Family Acroporidae
Genus Acropora
Species Acropora spathulata
Status least concern



Distinguishing features

Corymbose colonies with relatively thick (>2cm wide) and well spaced branches. Radial corallites evenly distributed and labellate (scale-like). (Contributed by Zoe Richards)


  • Size data has not been obtained.


Similar taxa


©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.
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