Rosamond Gifford Zoo

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Giant Green Polyp Duncan

Duncanopsammia axifuga

The Giant Green Polyp Duncan is a Large Polyp Stony coral with a wide disc skeletal structure and long whisker-like fleshy tentacles. The species lack stinging sweeper tentacles unlike other territorial coral species and thus are socially known as non-aggressive and able to coexist peacefully with other corals and invertebrates found within its ecosystem.

Range & Habitat

The Giant Green Polyp Duncan’s range is within the Indo-West Pacific, found in Australia & Vietnam. The species establishes itself in waters over 20 meters deep while attached to a solid substrate around a sandy surrounding at the foreslope (outer reef slope). 

Conservation Status: Near Threatened

Threats: Globally, the species is threatened by climate change, extremity of water temperatures, ocean acidification, increased severity of El Nino-Southern Oscillation events. Additionally, the species is threated by aesthetic collection of rare coral species in the aquarium wildlife trade.

Diet

In the Wild: The Giant Green Polyp Duncan thrives nutrients produced by their symbiotic zooxanthellae living on their tissues. This species is capable of actively catching drifting plankton and other microorganisms within reach of the oral disc.

In Human Care: Proper lighting for successful photosynthesis. As supplemental nutrition, krill, brine shrimp and other smaller items can be fed to them 

Life Span

Unknown

Fun Facts about the Giant Green Polyp Duncan

  • During the occurrence of a turbid waters or excessive weather events, the coral can retract its whisker polyps to protect against severe tissue damage.
  • Part of the species’ range falls within a Marine Protected Area and conservation practices has recommended the expansion of these protected areas and restoration actions for the polyp in endangerment.

Sources

Hoeksema, B., Rogers, A. & Quibilan, M. 2008. Duncanopsammia axifuga. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2008: Duncanopsammia axifuga (iucnredlist.org)Retrieved on July 18, 2021.

Updated August 18, 2021
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