Antler coral (Pectinia alcicornis) is an uncommon scleractinian reef-building coral native to turbid waters over a wide range of the north Indian Ocean stretching from Sri Lanka through SE Asia, eastern Australia, and into the western Pacific. It is a spiky, chalice-shaped coral with conspicuous coloration including bright blues, browns, yellows, reds, and purples. Antler coral inhabits most coral reef habitats in waters to 25 m (75 feet) in depth, usually living on horizontal surfaces. Its biology and population size is not well understood, but on the Barrier Reef this species shows significant sensitivity to bleaching as a result of ocean acidification, temperature instability and disease, and its reef habitat is rapidly declining. Because it is a popular aquarium species, P. alcicornis populations are susceptible to harvesting pressure, especially in Indonesia where it is one of the top corals collected. Like all coral species, it is listed on the CITES appendix II, and is listed by the IUCN as vulnerable and in need of more research to understand its susceptibility to the threats impacting it. (Carpenter et al. 2008; Sheppard et al. 2008)
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