How long can the precious coral of the Mediterranean live?

Precious coral, Corallium Rubrum, lifespan

Lifespan and age of the Precious Mediterranean Coral  – Corallium rubrum

The Precious coral of the Mediterranean – Corallium rubrum is known as one of the world’s most economically valued marine species with long-lasting, historic exploitation. Since the most ancient times, C. rubrum has an extraordinary power to attract.


The scientific knowledge on Corallium rubrum goes back to the end of 19th century. Scientist have described C. rubrum as a long long-living, slow-growing octocoral. But how old does Corallium rubrum get and how long can it leave?

In a recent study a group of scientists lead by Bennetti examined the colony growth of Corallium rubrum . They found that the growth rate of the C. rubrum colonies depend on the geographic area, that the average age of colonies at first branching is about 10 years and that C. rubrum colonies have a maximum lifespan of 106 years. 

Corallium rubrum

C. rubrum is widely distributed throughout the Mediterranean Sea and grows at depths from 15-500m and possibly even deeper. It prefers rocky bottom and in shallow depth it grows in semidark caves.

Unfortunately intensive fishing, has damaged this species along the Mediterranean coastline, especially at depths of less than 50 meters. And now even the deeper populations are being threatened due to primary targets of commercial fishing. Therefore scientists’ underline that there is a strong need for existing and future management measures to be properly implemented and enforced.


STORY SOURCE:  The above post is written based on materials provided by Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science/Elsevier (Bennetti et al., 2016) and NOAA (Bussoletti et al. (ed), 2010). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.

PICTURE SOURCE: Featured image by user tpsdave on Pixbay 

CITE THIS PAGE : ” How long can the precious coral of the Mediterranean – Corallium rubrum (L.1758) – live?” TheBlueReporters, 03 March 2016,



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