Where life begins on coral reefs - {Favia favus}

Favia favus – Head coral


Head coral Favia favus under super macro

Super macro of the corallites of {Favia favus}. The corallite on the right has something in the pharynx (main opening). Malapascua, Philippines. November (Toby Gibson Photography)

Super macro of the corallites of {Favia favus}. The corallite on the right has something in the pharynx (main opening). Malapascua, Philippines. November (Toby Gibson Photography)

Location & date

Malapascua, Philippines: 17th November 2014

Subject

Favia favus is a reef building coral, found in shallow waters on the coral reef. This was taken during daytime and the polyps are retracted. The corallite on the left has something in its pharynx. The pharynx is the only opening. It is possible that the yellow object is a package of eggs and sperm. This is what is released by the corals in spawning events. The septae (rib like pattern) are clearly visible and form a pleasing pattern to the eye at this magnification.

About this image

Corals fascinate me as they are the building blocks of coral reefs which are the most biodiverse regions on the planet. The patterns formed by individual corallites are often very beautiful. By using a Super Macro converter, I was able to fill the frame with an individual corallite. I saw that this particular individual had something in its pharynx, which provides a focal point for the image.

Camera setup

Nikon D800, 105mm in a Nauticam NA-D800 housing with two Inon Z240 strobes. Nauticam Super Macro Converter.
ISO 100, f/32, 1/80 sec

More like this:

Malapascua 2014 Portfolio gallery (on Toby Gibson Portfolio site)
Coral reefs portfolio gallery (on Toby Gibson Portfolio site)


About Toby Gibson

Toby Gibson is a conservationist, marine biologist and photographer, with a degree in Aquatic Biology and a master's degree in Biological Photography. Toby has worked as website manager for international conservation charity World Land Trust.