- Corals reproduce either asexually by budding or sexually by releasing gametes, which are sperm and eggs. Budding is the method of how coral colonies grow and continue to reproduce.
- Like all animals, corals will take time to reach sexual maturity. it will take about Eight years before they are sexually mature.
- The individual coral polyp can be male, female, both, or may not be reproductively active at all.
- Gonochoric is a polyp that is just one sex. A polyp that is both male and female is known as a hermaphrodite. The coral colony that is made up of many individual coral polyps is called a Module.
- A coral polyp's reproductive organs are found inside the body cavity and lie on the mesenteries of a coral, which is called a Septa. Fertilization of the mature eggs may take place inside the female coral polyp or may be external. When it is externally fertilized, it occurs in the water column. These are two major modes of reproduction and have many implications in the Coral's reproductive ecology.
- A coral that releases all of its gametes into the water so that fertilization occurs externally is known as a broadcaster.
- Internal fertilization occurs with male gametes of the species being from the polyps. These mature sperm swim through the water and find a polyp of the same species that has eggs within it. The sperm then enters the polyp through the mouth. Here it fertilizes the eggs internally. A coral adopting this strategy is known as a Brooder.