CORAL Mystery Species Answers
16 Feb, 2019
Leptastrea is a genus of encrusting reefbuilding stony corals from the Indo-Pacific. Previously assigned to the family Faviidae, it has been moved to uncertain status, Scleractinia incertae sedis, based on DNA testing.
Writing in CORAL Magazine, Advanced Aquatics, March/April 2019, researcher Samuel Nietzer says:
“Leptastrea purpurea has an extensive distribution and can be found from the reefs of the western Indian Ocean to the Indo-Pacific Coral Triangle to the Hawaiian Islands.
“The most astonishing and unique feature of L. purpurea is not, however, its apparent adaptability but its reproductive strategy: so-called brooding, in which parent colonies harbor their growing progeny before releasing them. The extraordinary thing about the reproduction in this species isn’t, however, the strategy, but the daily release of larvae. This circumstance makes L. purpurea a particularly suitable species for performing experiments with planula larvae.”
Image by May Fox. Courtesy Jason Fox Signature Corals