Diffuse ivory bush coral

Oculina diffusa

Family Oculinidae - corals

Colonial polyps, branching, forming cup-like structures (corallites) that are widely space (except for possibly at the tip) and are broadly joined together in branching stalks; color yellow brown (live); corallites 3-4 mm (0.1-0.15 in) in diameter, short, radiating plates (septa) inside corallites numerous, minutely beaded, extending above the corallite wall giving a spiky appearance; outer walls and coenosteum (skeletal material between walls of corallites) smooth, not ridged; branches thin (< 1.5 cm or 1/2 in in diameter), short, crooked, closely spaced together, bush-like in appearance.
Similar Species
Other Oculina species have thicker, longer branches and/or the corallites extend prominently from the branches.
Gulf and bay, shallow water areas of high sedimentation
Maximum Size
colony up to 30.5 cm (12 in) in diameter
Other Common Names
Previous Scientific Names