Close-up Video of Pocillopora damicornis Larvae

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Coral Publications recently shared this great up close video of the larvae of a Pocillopora damicornis coral swimming around in a small dish a few hours after sunset in one of two in an experimental coral nurseries. The larvae, which look more like a pest flatworm than the offspring of a coral, is released by the adult coral and swim around until they find a suitable spot. Once this spot is found, the larvae settle in and change into the calcium secreting polyps we see in adult corals. Unlike most scleractinian corals that release either eggs, sperm or both, the eggs of the P. damicornis are fertilized internally and the larvae exit the mouth of the polyp. This form of reproduction makes the Pocillopora very suitable for aquarium use, though many aquarium keepers stay away from it because it will sprout all over the place.

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