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'Tis the season: More daytime spawning in Hawaii!

By Leonard Ho - Posted Jun 09, 2011 08:10 AM
The US Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) documents daytime spawning of the SPS coral, Pocillopora meandrina. Photos and video after the jump. It is believed these are the first photographic and videographic documentation of P.meandrina spawning.
'Tis the season: More daytime spawning in Hawaii!

Spawning cauliflower coral (Pocillopora meandrina) within the Shark Island lagoon, French Frigate Shoals, part of the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge and the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. Image credit: Mark Sullivan/ USFWS

Last month was filled with wonderful reports about coral spawning:

Daytime Spawning in Hawaii of Pocillopora meandrina


View the video of the Pocillopora daytime spawning.

Video credit: Lindsey Kramer/ USFWS

The USFWS Flickr page states:

"On May 19th and 20th, just after sunrise, USFWS staff and volunteers observed a broadcast spawning event for the coral species Pocillopora meandrina (cauliflower coral) within the Shark Island lagoon, French Frigate Shoals, part of the Hawaiian Islands National Wildlife Refuge and the Papahanaumokuakea Marine National Monument. Gamete release must be synchronous among the population to ensure fertilization success, and timing cues are likely related to the lunar cycle.

Beginning in 2000, UH Sea Grant's ReefWatchers, led by Sara Peck and volunteer Joan Prater, began observing broadcast spawning of cauliflower coral on Hawai’i Island. Broadcast spawning events have since been observed annually on the Big Island by ReefWatchers, and a predictive model is being developed based on oceanographic conditions, seasonality, water temperature and lunar cycles. Lindsey Kramer adjusted the 2011 predictions for the Big Island spawning to fit the later sunrise and moonset at the French Frigate Shoals."

According to MauiNow.com:

The first spawning activity was observed on May 19, when observers monitored 50 coral colonies, and approximately 30% of the observed colonies spawn in a matter of minutes. On May 20, observers monitored 70 coral colonies, and 95% of the observed colonies spawn in less than 15 minutes.

Sunrise before spawn.  Image credit: Sarah Youngren/ USFWS
Sunrise before spawn. Image credit: Sarah Youngren/ USFWS

Image credit: Kristina Dickson/ USFWS
Image credit: Kristina Dickson/ USFWS

Image credit: Kristina Dickson/ USFWS
Image credit: Kristina Dickson/ USFWS

Image credit: Mark Sullivan/ USFWS
Image credit: Mark Sullivan/ USFWS

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.

Website: http://www.advancedaquarist.com.

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