Elkhorn Coral

Acropora palmata

Maximum Size:

12 ft (3.5 m)


Individual polyps live 2 to 3 years, but colonies can live for centuries.

Typical depth:

3–65 ft (1–20 m)


Elkhorn corals are an important reef-building coral species, producing many large branches that coral reef organisms use as habitat. Elkhorn coral is often found in areas of moderate to high current and wave action. The coral polyps feed at night while the zooxanthellae in their tissue photosynthesize during the day.


Some worm and snail species. The biggest threat is from disease.

Did you know?

Elkhorn is one of the world’s fastest growing corals, capable of growing up to 10cm (4in) in a single year. Although this species can reproduce sexually, through the release of eggs and sperm, it can also reproduce asexually through fragmentation.