Coral reefs are amazing, beautiful, and incredibly interesting ecosystems. A reef system is made up of various types of sea life. One of those includes the frogspawn coral. As you will see, every part of the reef plays an important role and helps to make the reef beneficial to the overall life in the ocean.
Getting to know more about the frogspawn coral can help you to understand more about the reefs in general. However, to truly understand the importance and function of frogspawn coral, you need to know a little more about coral reefs.
What is a Coral Reef?
Coral reefs are rocky mounds and/or ridges formed in the sea by living things through the accumulation and deposition of limestone and calcium carbonate. These undersea palaces are home to various species of fishes, corals, such as frogspawn coral, and many other types of marine life. The coral reef biome is one of the most important and distinctive types of biological communities found on planet Earth. In terms of biodiversity, coral reefs are the richest of all marine biomes. Although they make up only a tiny fraction of the total surface area of the sea, they are home to nearly 25% of all known marine species. Coral reefs also provide many valuable services to humans. Food, shoreline protection, and medicines are just a few of these benefits. Reefs are also the best places to visit if you want to experience marine life.
Other coral reef facts
Coral reefs provide many benefits for the environment. They are amazing natural creations that serve a purpose. Here are some facts to keep in mind about this ecosystem.
- Reefs that are noticeable in size, such as the Great Barrier Reef in Australia, are between five and 10,000 years old.
- The Great Barrier Reef is actually made up of 900 smaller reefs.
- The Great Barrier Reef covers 2,600 miles, crosses over 500 islands, and is one of the most visited reefs in the worlds.
- Scientists have discovered that many parts of a coral reef can be harvested to make medications to treat cancers and other illnesses.
- Coral reefs also help to improve the surrounding water quality. They act as a kind of filter that traps things floating in the water, which makes for cleaner water all around.
- Coral reefs also play an important role in helping to manage carbon monoxide levels. This makes them of great benefit to the world’s population.
Coral Reef Animals
Coral reef animals are the most conspicuous component of coral reef life, occurring in truly astounding numbers and variety throughout the reef ecosystem. Unlike terrestrial forests and prairies whose structures are formed by plants, it is animals (coral polyps) that actually form the structural foundation of coral reef ecosystems. Corals are also its dominant inhabitants. Two major groups of animals inhabit coral reefs: animals with backbones (called vertebrates) and those without (called invertebrates).
Among vertebrate animals, only a relative few groups contain species that are regularly found within coral reef communities. These are:
- Sea snakes
- Sea turtles
- Dugongs and manatees
Of all vertebrate animals that dwell on coral reefs, it is the fishes that are by far the most numerous, varied, and critical to coral reef health. In the Greater Caribbean region alone, some 500 to 600 species of coral reef fish are recognized. The Indo-Pacific region houses perhaps 8 to 10 times that number.
Among coral reef animals, invertebrates are by far the most diverse and numerous. They are the primary builders of coral reefs and an integral part of almost every aspect of the ecology.
The coral reef invertebrate animals include:
Another key group – the corals and their relatives – are instrumental in building the reef, which brings us to the frogspawn coral.
What is Frogspawn Coral?
Frogspawn Coral or Euphyllia divisa is a large polyp stony coral. You may see it also called wall, octopus, grape, or honey coral. It is found in tropical waters of the Pacific, including the Great Barrier Reef. It has been successfully cultivated in aquariums as well.
This coral is very popular because of its striking appearance. Its polyps remain visible throughout both the day and night. They resemble a mass of fish eggs or frog eggs, which is where it gets its name. Its coloration is green or brown to tan in color. It also looks stunning because it sways along with the water current.
Frogspawn coral is not too bad to keep in an aquarium, but it does have a couple of issues that you need to be aware of. Luckily, it is not too difficult when it comes to light. You will do fine with normal fluorescents. However, you might light more light to allow it to really show off its natural beauty.
Feeding can be tricky. It is not an aggressive eater but can be picky. Normally, it feeds off the zooxanthellae which are naturally occurring within its body, but you can direct feed if you want. Dry pellet food, brine shrimp, and micro-plankton are good food choices. You will also need to supplement with calcium, strontium, magnesium, and trace elements.
Placement requires careful consideration. Frogspawn coral extends its sweeper tentacles to defend itself against other coral. These tentacles can go up to six inches out. The white tips contain nematocysts, which it uses to sting other coral. So, you need to plan to place it away from other corals. Keep in mind that these are larger and range in size from about three inches to five inches.
The coral reef isn’t just something pretty to look it. It plays an important role in the survival of our planet. It directly supports a marine ecosystem, but it also provides important benefits for humanity. Each part of the reef system is essential, and that includes frogspawn coral.