National Wildlife Health Center

...advancing wildlife and ecosystem health

Coral Disease Cards Now Available As Pdfs

A picture of coral In collaboration with various partners, we have made underwater cards that will help divers describe lesions in corals from Hawaii, American Samoa, and New Caledonia.  The cards for New Caledonia are available in French or English.  Simply click on the links below to download PDFs.  The cards can be printed on underwater paper or laminated to help divers describe lesions in corals (cards designed to print front to back).   
coral disease cards for New Caledonia in French
coral disease cards for New Caledonia in English
coral disease cards for Hawaii
coral disease cards for American Samoa



Please keep the following points in mind when describing lesions in corals.

  1. A lesion is a manifestation of abnormality (disease) in corals.
  2. Coral diseases can have infectious (viruses, bacteria, fungi) or non-infectious (temperature, acidity, poisons) causes.
  3. Without additional laboratory tests, you can rarely determine the cause of a lesion in a coral.
  4. The only exception to no. 3 above are lesions directly associated with predators (e.g. snails, starfish, fish bites).  This is why it is a good idea to look for potential predators when you see lesions, particularly those that are associated with tissue loss.
  5. A coral lesion may manifest one way early in disease and another late in disease.

For more information, see:

Work, T.M., and G.S. Aeby. 2006. Systematically describing gross lesions in corals. Diseases of Aquatic Organisms 70:155-160  (PDF)

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