Two Red Sea faviid species, Favia favus and Platygyra lamellina spawn eggs and sperm once a year, during the summer. External fertilization occurs 0.5 h after spawning, and mobile gastrulae appear 20 h later. Four stages in the early ontogenesis of these corals are described. The slow development (2-3 months) to the polyp stage in broadcasting species is attributed to the lack of zooxanthellae in their planulae and their appearance in the primary polyp only at a later stage. Survivorship of one-month-old primary polyps is ca 0.21% and 0.25% in F. favus and P. lamellina respectively, from the populations of 2-9-day-old planulae. Despite these low rates of survival, both species form dense populations in the Gulf of Eilat.
- Red Sea
- planular development