Coral captured having sex in Florida Keys

Scientists discover pillar corals spawning off Key Largo

Photo Courtesy: Florida Keys News Bureau

KEY LARGO, Fla. - For the first time ever, scientists from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission have documented male and female pillar corals spawning.

Saturday, researchers diving off Key Largo witnessed male pillar coral colonies releasing clouds of milky sperm, followed by females a few minutes later discharging eggs.

Before the discovery, it was unclear if female pillar corals existed in Florida, according to Kate Lunz from FWC.

Corals typically reproduce in the late summer within four days of the full moon.

Scientists say they're hopeful for another coral spawn in early September.

Copyright 2012 by Post Newsweek. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.