CLASSIFICATION OF MILLEPORA : STINGING CORAL
PHYLUM :- COELENTRATA (Tissue grade, diploblastic and acoelomate. )
CLASS :- HYDROZOA (Coenosarc secretes exoskeleton and polyps dimorphic. )
ORDER :- HYDROCORALLINA (Coenosarc secretes exoskeleton and polyps dimorphic.)
SUB-ORDER :- Milleporina (Polypus scattered, skeleton massive.)
GENUS :- Millepora
Found in U.S.A. (Florida coast) and West Indies.
HABIT AND HABITAT
Marine form, found associated with coral reefs in tropical seas. It is colonial hydroid with much branched hydrorhiza.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF MILLEPORA : STINGING CORAL
- Commonly called as stinging coral.
- Colony varies in form, consisting of a broad basal mass which is incrusted on the rocks and from which short irregular branches are thrown into the water.
- Ectoderm secretes a large skeleton of perisarc, resembling corals perforated by numerous pores.
- Dried colony of lime carbonate contains pores of two types: (i) gastropores or larger pores, through which gastrozooids protrude in lifetime. (ii) dactylopores or smaller pores are found around gastropores, through which dactylozooids come out.
- Gastropores and dactylopores randomly distributed. Gastrozooids are feeding zooids, having 4 to 5 short knobbed tentacles and dactylozooids, with capitate tentacles having nematocysts, are protective zooids.
- Pores lead into a canal which forms network in coenosarc.
- Medusae with 4 or 5 rudimentary tentacles are free, simple and originate from coenosarc.
- Dried colony forms irregular mass.
It is called as stinging coral because its powerful nematocysts are painful to man. Due to the presence of numerous pores, it is called as Millepora.
The specimen has random distribution of gastropore and dactylopores and all above characters, hence it is Millepora.