Hybridization is often cited as a potential source of evolutionary novelty in the order Scleractinia. While hybrid embryos can be produced in vitro, it has been difficult to identify adult hybrids in the wild. Here, we tested the potential for hybridization between two closely related species in the family Fungiidae. We mixed approximately 5000 eggs of Ctenactis echinata with sperm from C. crassa. No hybrid embryos were produced. This observation adds to a growing body of evidence for pre-zygotic barriers to hybridization in corals and challenges the claim that hybridization is a major source of evolutionary novelty in the order.
Andrew H. Baird, Vivian R. Cumbo, Joana Figueiredo, and Saki Harii. 2013. A Pre-Zygotic Barrier to Hybridization in Two Con-Generic Species of Scleractinian Corals .F1000Research , (193) : 1 -6. https://nsuworks.nova.edu/occ_facarticles/422.