Fire Corals (Millepora spp)



IUCN RedListL Crustal Fire Coral
“Crustal Fire Coral Millepora squarrosa has most recently been assessed for The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species in 2021. Millepora squarrosa is listed as Critically Endangered under criteria A3c.”

This species is moderately susceptible to bleaching and is sometimes harvested for the curio and jewellery trade. It has suffered reduction of coral reef habitat due to a combination of threats. It has been affected in past bleaching events but appears to recover more rapidly than most scleractinian species (W. Precht pers. comm. 2008). Some species of Millepora appear to be more susceptible to bleaching and have higher rates of mortality following bleaching than scleractinians (e.g. Marshall and Baird 2000, Teixeira et al. 2019, Duarte et al. 2020). They are some of the first hard corals to bleach but are resilient, being some of the first to recruit after the bleaching.

Taxonomic research is needed on Caribbean milleporids: Ruiz-Ramos, D.V., Weil, E., and Schizas, N.V. 2014. Morphological and genetic evaluation of the hydrocoral Millepora species complex in the Caribbean. Zoological Studies 53(1): 1-15.