Porites is a common coral especially successful in shallow reef areas. Branched colonies often form large tracts along the reef front in both the Atlantic and the Indo-Pacific.
Porites porites looks like a thicket of stumpy fingers, hence its commo n name.
Porites capture food with their tentacles which may be extended during the daylight or during the night. These are armed with batteries of stinging cells called nematocysts which both poison and capture. Their most important food is zooplankton.
Although usually brownish in colour, occasionally Porites porites is a lovely bright blue. You find it on most reef environments from 0.5 to 35 m depth but most commonly from 1-15 m.
Porites is more prone to disease than many other corals. According to the IUCN, coral disease has emerged as a serious threat to coral reefs worldwide and is a major cause of reef deterioration. The numbers of diseases and coral species affected, as well as the distribution of diseases have all increased dramatically within the last decade.
Like all corals, Porites is listed on CITES Appendix II. This lists species that are not necessarily now threatened with extinction but that may become so unless trade is closely controlled.