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Caribbean Coral Skeleton Identification Guide
Bee Ling Melisa Chan, Nicte-Ha Munoz, Mauro Lepore and Aaron O'Dea
August 31, 2016
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DOI

Overview

  1. The Caribbean Coral Skeleton Identification Guide (CCSIG) is an identification guide that is based on the physical characteristics of coral skeletons.

  2. The CCSIG currently (as of August 31, 2016) contains most of the species that can be found in Bocas del Toro, Panama.

    • Contributions to further expand the taxonomic and geographic range of this guide are highly encouraged (please see No. 5 for contact information).
  3. Information in the tables was obtained from Corals of the World, Coralpedia and various other sources (see References and Additional Resources).

    • Grouping of species is based on their growth forms
  4. Images of coral skeleton (colony, corallite and/or valley) were taken from coral specimens from the reference collection of coral skeleton (Caribbean Coral Skeleton Reference Collection, CCSRC) at the Naos Marine Laboratory, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama.

    • Images of species that are not available (as of August 31, 2016) in the CCSRC or do not have well-preserved specimens were obtained from Corals of the World instead.
    • Each image has a scale of either:
      • a strip of horizontal lines (or a ruler) with 1mm intervals (Images taken from the CCSRC)
      • a digitized scale located in one of the corners of the image (Images from Corals of the World)
    • Labels of the images correspond with the row number and name of the species in the subsequent tables.
    • An online version of the images with higher resolution is available at (insert link here)
  5. To make suggestions/comments, please contact:

Click (here) for a printable version of this guide.

Characteristics of Coral Species {.tabset .tabset-fade .tabset-pills}

Branching Corals


Lumpy Corals



Massive Brains Corals


![](README_files/figure-html/MASSIVE BRAINS-1.png)


Massive Star Corals


![](README_files/figure-html/MASSIVE STAR-1.png)


Solitary Corals



Thick Leafy Corals


![](README_files/figure-html/THICK LEAFY-1.png)


Thin Leafy Corals


![](README_files/figure-html/THIN LEAFY-1.png)


Glossary of Coral Morphology

Figure 1: A sample of the various coral shapes


Figure 2: Different structures of a corallite


Figure 3: Septal cycle – upper right system with three cycles of septa; upper left system with four cycles, and lower two systems with various stages of development of the Poutralès plan Numbers refer to cycle to which septa belong. (Cairns 1994)



References and Additional Resources

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