DAO 119:75-83 (2016)  -  DOI: https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02982

Effects of Coralliophila violacea on tissue loss in the scleractinian corals Porites spp. depend on host response

L. J. Raymundo1,*, T. M. Work2, R. L. Miller3, P. L. Lozada-Misa

1University of Guam Marine Laboratory, Mangilao, Guam 96923, USA
2USGS National Wildlife Health Center, Honolulu Field Station, Honolulu, Hawaii 96850, USA
3Guam Coral Reef Monitoring Program, Bureau of Statistics and Plans, Guam 96923, USA
4National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Honolulu, Hawaii 96818, USA
*Corresponding author:

ABSTRACT: We investigated interactions between the corallivorous gastropod Coralliophila violacea and its preferred hosts Porites spp. Our objectives were to experimentally determine whether tissue loss could progress in Porites during or after Coralliophila predation on corals with and without tissue loss and to histologically document snail predation. In 64% of feeding scars, tissue regenerated within 3 wk, leaving no trace of predation. However, in roughly 28% of scars, lesions progressed to subacute tissue loss resembling white syndrome. In feeding experiments, scars from snails previously fed diseased tissue developed progressive tissue loss twice as frequently as scars from snails previously fed healthy tissue. Scars from previously healthy-fed snails were 3 times as likely to heal as those from previously diseased-fed snails. Histology revealed marked differences in host responses to snails; P. cylindrica manifested a robust inflammatory response with fewer secondary colonizing organisms such as algae, sponges, and helminths, whereas P. rus showed no evident inflammation and more secondary colonization. We conclude that lesion progression associated with Coralliophila may be associated with secondary colonization of coral tissues damaged by predator-induced trauma and necrosis. Importantly, variation at the cellular level should be considered when explaining interspecific differences in host responses in corals impacted by phenomena such as predation.


KEY WORDS: Coralliophila · Coral disease · White syndrome · Porites · Guam


Full text in pdf format  
Cite this article as: Raymundo LJ, Work TM, Miller RL, Lozada-Misa PL (2016) Effects of Coralliophila violacea on tissue loss in the scleractinian corals Porites spp. depend on host response. Dis Aquat Org 119:75-83. https://doi.org/10.3354/dao02982

Export citation
Mail this link - Contents Mailing Lists - RSS
- -