This coral is called a staghorn coral because of the shape of its narrow branches. They are stony corals which build hard skeletons of calcium carbonate on which the soft bodied coral polyps live. In life it would have been brown with blue tips.

This species, Acropora divaricata, is widely distributed and common around the world where suitable shallow tropical reef habitat occurs. This specimen came from Wistari Reef in the Capricorn Group off Queensland.

Corals around the world are threatened by reduction in reef habitat from climate change and other human impacts as well as the increased likelihood of bleaching events as global average temperature increases. Populations of Acropora divaricata are declining rapidly enough for the species to be classified by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) as being Near Threatened. International trade in most corals and coral products is illegal and this species is is listed in Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) to ensure international trade does not threaten its survival in the wild.

Specimen Details

  • Taxon Name

    Acropora divaricata

  • Author and date of publication

    (Dana, 1846)

  • Preferred Common name

    Staghorn Coral

  • Other Common Names

    Stony Coral

  • Date Identified


  • Identified By

    Dr Carden C. Wallace - Museum of Tropical Queensland

  • Number Of Specimens


  • Sex


  • Specimen Nature

    Form: Dry

  • Collected By

    Barry R. Wilson

  • Category

    Natural Sciences

  • Scientific Group

    Invertebrate Zoology

  • Discipline


  • Collecting Areas


  • Type of Item



Geospatial Information

  • Country


  • State


  • Precise Location

    Front reef slope, NW Wistari Reef, Capricorn Group

  • Latitude


  • Longitude


  • Geodetic Datum