Bubble Coral

Bubble Coral Name: Bubble Coral
Scientific name: Plerogyra
Range: East Africa, Southeast Asia
Habitat: Ocean
Status: Not threatened 
Diet in the wild: Micro organisms
Diet in the zoo: 
Location in the zoo: Aquarium 


Looking out to sea
 Physical description:
  • Less than 50 cm in diameter
  • Over 5 cm tall
  • Septa (which extend from the skeleton) are smooth and leafy.
  • The skeleton (Corallite) is made of lime (calcium carbonate).


General information:

Plerogyra are members of the kingdom Phylum Cnidaria, belonging to the class Zoantharia, order of Scleractinia.  Individual corals are called polyps, which most of them live in groups called colonies.  The polyps are just one of the bubbles that are visible in the colony.  When the colony forms it takes on the appearance of grapes. Corals are asexual, reproduce by budding or separating a part from itself.  Bubble Coral grows in mainly the southeast hemisphere between east Africa and Australia.  They are found along the shallow reefs usually on a vertical surface or a cave.  


Special anatomical, physiological
or behavioral adaptations:

The bubble coral gets its' name because of the protective shape it has.  The corallite is covered by vesicles that protect during the day and retracts at night.  It is these vesicles that give the appearance of being bubbles.  The scientific name (plerogyra) is Greek, which means (in two parts) pleres - full and gyros - circle.





Tang and Bubble
Personal Observations:

My personal view of Bubble Coral is one of relaxation.  Just having some to watch moving in the  waves would be soothing.   The way bubble coral takes on the grape bunch motif adds to the soothing power of the coral.  The coral has a peaceful look to it and that would lead its prey to believe it is not dangerous.  Now I know why people keep aquariums for a way to relax after a hard day.


Source Materials and Related Links:
  • Corals of the World, Dr. Elizabeth M. Wood, T.F.H. Publications 1983
  • Australia's Great Barrier Reef, Robert Endean, University of Queensland Press, 1982
  • Coral Relief 
  • Education 


Page author: Stephen Chronister

Send E-mail to cunntasair@earthlink.net

or to mac@whozoo.org

WhoZoo Home

WhoZoo Animal Index

Mammals at the Fort Worth Zoo
Birds at the Fort Worth Zoo
Reptiles and Amphibians at the Fort Worth Zoo
Fish at the Fort Worth Zoo
Invertebrates at the Fort Worth Zoo