Coastal News

The Florida Aquarium Successfully Spawns Grooved Brain for the Fourth Time in Four Years

WHO: Scientists at The Florida Aquarium

WHAT: The fourth consecutive year that grooved brain coral (Diploria labyrinthiformis) has spawned at The Florida Aquarium. This species first spawned at The Florida Aquarium in 2020, and has continued to every year since.

WHERE: The Florida Aquarium Apollo Beach Campus

WHY: Identified by the wide groove along the top of its ridges, grooved brain corals are critical to reef restoration efforts as they are highly susceptible to Stony Coral Tissue Loss Disease (SCTLD). According to long-term monitoring data collected by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, an estimated 48% of grooved brain coral colonies—approximately 1.75 million—have been lost to SCTLD between Broward County and Key West.The Florida Aquarium’s coral conservation program cares for grooved brain corals that have been exposed to SCTLD as well as those that have not. 


(Video credit: The Florida Aquarium)

Grooved brain corals spawn in both the Aquarium’s greenhouses and its induced spawning laboratory. In the lab, the Aquarium’s biologists use technology and lab-induced techniques to mimic the natural environment of corals. Through replication of the timing of sunrises, sunsets, moonrises and moonsets, the corals are triggered to sexually reproduce outside of the ocean in what feels to them like a natural setting. 

Each time these corals spawn is a victory, providing reassurance to biologists at the Aquarium that their methods continue to work, and bringing us all one step closer to the restoration of Florida’s reef. This is just one of many coral species that The Florida Aquarium has in its care. Stay tuned for additional spawning updates throughout the year.


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