Porites porites is a chubby branching coral with long elegant polyps. Colonies grow into tight clusters and can be found in the shallowest part of the reef down past recreational diving limits.
Porites coral can be recognized by small corallites which are embedded in the surface of the coral. There are six species of Porites in the Caribbean and all have this characteristic. You can read this articles about Porites asteroides to see a closer look at Porites corallites.
The color of this coral is almost always gray, but under external light it can appear tan or brown. Polyps are often extended durring the day and are the longest polyps of all Porites species.
Individual colonies of finger coral can be up to 12 meters or 4 feet in diameter and several colonies can clusters together into sprawling thickets.
The common name for this coral is the Finger coral. Porites porites can be recognized from other Porites coral because it has thick stout branches that grow at irregular shapes. The branches have enlarged slightly pointed tips.
Last week we wrote about the branched finger coral, (Porites furcata) and you can tell these two corals apart because Porites porites have thicker branches and longer polyp.