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Boulder Brain Coral  - Colpophylia natans
Photo by Mike White

Boulder brain coral colonies (of millions of tiny coral polyps) form in large rounded domes in sizes from 1.5-7 feet across. Their surface is covered with a maze of convoluted ridges and valleys. The ridges are typically brown, and the valleys green, tan, or white. Boulder brain coral lives between 2-175 feet deep.

Boulder Brain Coral
(Colpophylia natans)

South Florida, Bahamas, and the Caribbean


Nutrients provided by symbiotic algae, planktonic animals


The status of this species is representative of the populations within the waters of this Sanctuary only, not global populations.

Quick Fact
Unlike many other corals, boulder brain corals are able to hold their ground in storms that pound other corals to rubble.

Learn More
- National Marine Sanctuary Program