Hawai'i Coral Reef Network

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Puako, Hawai'i 

Reef Flat

Reef flat

Corals are sparsely abundant on the reef flat, which extends from the shore to about 200 meters offshore. The reef flat is an area of relatively high wave energy characterized by highly variable coral cover, primarily lobe coral (Porites lobata) and cauliflower coral (Pocillopora meadrina). Mobile invertebrates are conspicuous, especially collector urchins (Tripneustes gratilla), rock boring urchins (Echinometra mathaea), and black sea cucumbers (Holothuria atra). Fishes reach there highest diversity here dominated by plant-grazing surgeon fishes such as yellow tangs (Zebrasoma flavescens), achilles tangs (Acanthurus achilles), convict tangs (Acanthurus triostegus), and moorish idols (Zanclus cornutus). Spotted puffers (Arothron meleagris) and lei triggersfish (Sufflamen bursa) are also common along with saddle wrasses (Thalassoma duperrey).


Last update: 1/25/2005