The reproductive ecology of the hermaphroditic broadcast spawning scleractinian reef coral Platygyra daedalea was studied on lagoonal reefs in Kenya. While single annual gametogenic cycles occurred in 84% of colonies, biannual gametogenic cycles were recorded in 16% of colonies and these patterns occurred in two morphotypes. In colonies with a single annual cycle, oogenesis occurred for 6–7 months from September to March and spermatogenesis for 5 months from November to March. In biannually spawning colonies, oogenic cycles overlapped for at least 2 months prior to gamete release. The major spawning period occurred in February and March, with minor spawning also occurring in August–October in biannually spawning colonies. Reproductive effort was lower during the minor winter compared to the major summer spawning, with fewer colonies reproducing (12.5–19.2%), not all mesenteries producing oocytes (32.5%) and less than half of the mesenteries with mature oocytes had associated spermaries (48.1%).
Coral Sexual reproduction Equatorial reefs Indian Ocean