Unlike most other so-called reef corals, Manicina areolata doesn’t usually live on coral reefs.
Instead it prefers shallow, productive near-shore habitats characterised by abundant sediments such as seagrass meadows, or along the fringes of mangrove forests.
In these habitats, Manicina areolata is an important part of the 'soft-bottom' coral community that also contains species such as Siderastrea radians (the golf-ball coral) and Porites furcata (finger coral).
These corals have special structural and behavioural characteristics that allow them to thrive in habitats where other species would be smothered in sediments.
The skeleton of a coral polyp.
Small column-like structure.
Colony composed of corallites in linear series within the same wall.
Fleshy septa connected to an oral disk. Mesenteries occur in pairs and flow like curtains.
Partitions between two cavities.