Isopora cylindrica – a Solomon Island Specialty

Isopora cylindrica – Corals of the Solomon Islands

Just a few days in the past I landed within the Solomon Islands, and whereas this vacation spot is a well-liked matter on the pages of Reef Builders, actually, it’s my very first time visiting these far-off islands! And, with nicely over a yr of Indonesian coral recognizing underneath my belt, it was about time I head off to discover the undersea world of a brand new nation. 

On my first dive, I rapidly noticed a singular coral species. Trying like a mixture between and Isopora palifera and Acropora brueggemanni, (which I simply discovered was switched into Isopora).

It was time to research! The uniform formed spherical branches have been totally different from the club-shaped branches of Isopora palifera, and so they have been a lot too massive and vast to be Isopora brueggemanni. I knew this was a distinct coral however the most effective I may do underwater was doc the discover and evaluation on land. After a fast scan of Corals of the World we have been in a position to determine this coral as Isopora cylindrica. 

All of the telltale indicators of an Isopora the place there, small cup-shaped corallites near the department, and the dearth of any distinct axial corallite. Though, this coral may idiot even probably the most observant coral spotters.

Upon nearer inspection, I began to search out what I can solely describe as false axial recommendations on a few of the colonies. What was fascinating isn’t all of the colonies had these proto axial suggestions, however on the colonies which exhibited this trait, all of the branches had the identical attribute.

As I swam across the reef I discovered a transparent instance of the smaller, thinner, branchier, Isposora brueggemanni rising subsequent to it’s thicker look alike Isopora cylindrica.

Isopora cylindrica left, subsequent to thinner branchier Isopora brueggemanni proper. The Isopora brueggemanni has clear axial corallites and smaller branches nevertheless the resemblance comes from the nobby brown branches with white suggestions. 

Positive this isn’t an eye-melting, cherry bomb blasting coral, however however, I used to be simply as excited to test off a model new species on my corals recognizing listing!

I spent a superb 5 minutes photographing the primary colony I discovered… what if it’s the one one I believed! However positive sufficient, I discovered a number of different colonies on the dive. All these corals had the identical brown beige coloration with branches round 2-4cm vast and as much as a meter lengthy. They have been between 10-13m deep on the perimeters of a sloping reef pinnacle.

At first look, these corals look strikingly related. Nevertheless, the coral on the left, Isopora cylindrica is rare exterior of Solomon Island and components of Papua New Guinea. Isopora palifera on the suitable is sort of widespread and located all through the Indo Pacific. Each corals have thick sturdy branches, nevertheless, Isopora cylindrica (left) has extra slim uniformed formed branches, whereas Isopora palifera (proper) has broad club-shaped fronds that are almost twice as thick.

We noticed this colonies will diving on the Alice in Wonderland Dive website in Munda Solomons Islands. Diving with Dive Munda. 

Further images beneath by Jake Adams

Photographs by Jake Adams

Photographs by Jake Adams

Photographs by Jake Adams

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