This is my attempt to make a search for a coral's identification just a bit easier
by trying to at least get a start within a genus, once you have an idea
of what group it may be within, you can then search that genus for
possible specific species at the below link.
If you are going to have
any chance at correctly identifying a coral, you will most likely have to have a
skeletal sample of the coral in question. You will also need to become
familiar with the termonology used to describe indentifying features.
The following links go into such details and will be very helpfull to
you if you read these articles. Taxonomy of Stony Corals
Taxonomy of Stony Corals Part 2
Taxonomy of Corals Part 3
Do Note, that most coral species are capable of growing in many
different forms or shapes, all due to what reef conditions they find
themselves in. The taxonomy of stony corals part 2 will show you photo
examples of the many different shapes that corals can form.
Do not go by
just the corallite shape, although it will get you within a few genus
groups at least. As an example, the first photo shown below left is of
an Acanthastrea, yet there are other corals that look very much like it
such as the Favia and Favites genus.
IF THERE IS ONLY ONE
PHOTO SHOWN, THEN THAT IS THE ONLY SPECIES WITHIN THAT GENUS
Details of Acanthastrea Rotundoflora
Note: It is all but impossible to correctly
Acropora species from a photo, I am though showing a few species only
(Stony yet classified an Octocoral)
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