Cantharellus noumeae can be found growing solitarily or within small colonies (3). Cantharellus species are a ‘stony’ coral, which means that they excrete calcium carbonate to form a corallite while they grow. The exoskeleton protects the coral from threats such as predation, and when combined with other coral skeletons it leads to the formation of reefs (4).
Cantharellus coral receives the majority of its energy from symbiotic algae, known as ‘zooxanthellae’, which live within the coral tissues. The algae require sunlight for photosynthesis, which provides energy for both the algae and the coral (4).
The reproductive methods of the Cantharellus coral are currently unknown. However, they are likely to be similar to other coral species within the Fungiidae family. Within this family, individuals are either male or female and reproduce sexually. Reproduction occurs during mass spawning events in which both eggs and sperm are released into the open ocean. When two gametes fuse together, they develop to form a larva which searches for a suitable habitat. When a suitable substrate is found, the larva attaches itself and continues to develop (4).