Tag Archive: hard coral

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Scleractinia (stony corals or hard corals)
Family: Dendrophylliidae

Genus/species: Turbinaria reniformis

(Brain coral Platygyra sp. on the right)

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: T. reniformis may form cup, vase, or spreading scroll-like plates, Color yellow, brown, or sometimes green. The corallites widely spaced apart from each other with the polyps like short tufts sprouting from the surface.

Diameter of plates up to 1 meter (3 ft)


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Yellow Cup Cora are found throughout the Indo-Pacific from shallow turbid water to clear reef flats and deeper reef slopes ( 2 to 15 metres)

DIET IN THE WILD: Zooxanthellae provide nutrients and energy, and help remove metabolic wastes.

REPRODUCTION: T. reniformis unlike most corals which are hermaphroditic (have both male and female sex organs releasing gametes for external fertilization), Yellow Cup Coral have separate male and female sexes.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Vulnerable (VU) T. reniformisis is susceptible to bleaching and disease due to a more restricted depth range,

REMARKS: When irritated, it can produce large amounts of clear mucus which can damage other corals; the mucus is presumed to contain nematocysts or a toxin.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Shrimpfish exhibit and Philippine Coral Reef Exhibit, 2017 Pam Montbach

Aquarium Corals E.H. Borneman 2001 ppg 318-321

EOL eol.org/pages/1016035/details

ARKIVE  www.arkive.org/yellow-scroll-coral/turbinaria-reniformis/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1LJ

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/32428403365/in/album-72157659465376212/

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Scleractinia (stony corals or hard corals)
Family: Faviidae

Genus: Platygyra sp.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Colonies can be massive, encrusting, dome-shaped or flattened. Corallites (the skeletal cup, formed by an individual stony coral polyp, in which the polyp sits) form meandering walls of brown, green, or gray surrounding contrasting valleys of cream, pink, gray, or even fluorescent green.  Easily confused with Goniastrea and Leptoria.


DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-Pacific, including the Red Sea and around Australia and Southeast Asia. Inhabits a variety of reef locations, including reef flats, back reefs, and deeper waters.

DIET: Primary nutrition received from the photosynthesis of symbiotic zooxanthellae. Supplemental diet from capture of microplankton by stinging tentacles.

REPRODUCTION: Sexually by spawning and asexually by budding (polyps divide to form new polyps)



California Academy of Steinhart Aquarium Sciences Color Hidden Reef Shrimpfish exhibit 2018

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/32394124350/in/album-72157659465376212/

Aquarium Corals E H Borneman 2001 ppg 298-99

Arkive  www.arkive.org/brain-coral/platygyra-daedalea/

Carpenter, K.E. (1998) An introduction to the oceanography Corals ftp://ftp.fao.org/docrep/fao/009/w7191e/w7191e10.pdf

IUCN Red List 2009 www.iucnredlist.org/

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1LE

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Scleractinia
Family: Caryophylliidae (Hexacoral or stony polyped coral)

Genus/species: Plerogyra sinuosa

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Colonial corals often covered
with clusters of bubble-like structures (thus the common name), each over 1 cm in length. Tentacles extend at night to capture small prey. Colored gray, bluish, greenish, brownish or rich cream. The skeleton is a mineral aragonite.

bubble coral23923123353_354a13e35d_o

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-Pacific and Australia region.Found in turbid bays and lagoons, on reefs in deep water or under overhangs.

DIET IN THE WILD: Light-capturing bubble-like vesicles extend during the day to support the photosynthesis of the algal symbionts. Tentacles extend at night to capture small prey.

Bubble Coral4561883874_27975403aa_o

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Near threatened (NT)

REMARKS: This is a stony coral, despite the soft appearance the “bubbles” give during the day.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef AQA17  Charles Delbeek

Aquarium Corals E H Borneman TFH Publications 2001 Page 311

EOL  eol.org/pages/1006618/details

IUCN Red List www.iucnredlist.org/details/133258/0

WordPress shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1Lo

Ron’s Flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/23923123353/in/album-72157659465376212/

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Scleractinia
Family: Fungiidae

Genus/species: Fungia sp.

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Hexacoral Genus noted for short, tapering tentacles and a very large mouth opening. The structure is home to a single polyp which sits in a calcareous cup, the corallite. Many septae stretch from the central mouth to sides of the polyp. Usually the form is nearly circular. 

This specimen has its tentacles retracted.

Diameter up to 28 cm (11 inches

Mushroom Coral24651024753_5ace92aaf6_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-Pacific from the Red Sea and east Africa, west to Hawaii in tropical and subtropical latitudes. Found among other coral, rubble, or on sand.

DIET IN THE WILD: Plankton, jellies (using nematocysts), proteins (using sticky cilia)

REPRODUCTION: Fungia corals can reproduce sexually or asexually. During sexual reproduction, eggs and sperm are released into the water where the egg is fertilised and develops into larvae. Juvenile Fungia are attached, but become free-living with age, Budding and fragmentation.also can occur.

This specimen has its tentacles retracted.

Mushroom Coral5064192598_beeff0e593_o

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Least Concern (LC)

REMARKS: Rather than forming colonies like most corals, Fungia corals are usually solitary and free-living. Because they are unattached, Fungia can be easily moved by waves, and so are most often found in protected places, often at depths where wave action is reduced.

By inflating the body cavity, mushroom corals are able to upright themselves after being overturned. They will travel by inflating their tissue and using current to move.

When Fungi are in immediate contact with other hard corals, they secrete a mucus that can damage coral tissues and prevents the over growth of these neighbouring corals.

Mushroom coral skeleton below

Mushroom Coral24929915125_850e98ad03_k


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Water is life Color on the Reef 2017

Aquarium Corals E H Borneman TFH Publications 2001 page253-257

Ron’s flickr  https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/5063580569/in/album-72157659465376212/

Ron’s WordPress shortlink http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1Lb

Arkive www.arkive.org/mushroom-corals/fungia-spp/

Animal World animal-world.com/Aquarium-Coral-Reefs/Plate-Coral

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Order: Scleractinia
Family: Trachyphylliidae (Solitary stony Coral)

Genus/species: Trachyphyllia geoffroyi

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Name comes from Gr: trachys (rough) and phylon (leaf) as it looks like a leaf lying on the substrate. Trachyphyllia are secondarily free-living, usually beginning growth as a single polyp attached to a hard surface. Later it breaks off, and is found detached on sandy or muddy bottoms. Color may vary with depth or substrate: pink to red,
brownish, gray, green, or blue, even multistreaked and iridescent. Fleshy polyps extend well beyond the margin of the stony skeleton.

Open Brain Coral30683128974_b9d9e4ba50_k

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Found in the Indian and Western Pacific oceans on sandy bottoms among seagrass in the outer feel margins.

DIET IN THE WILD: Nutrition from photosynthetic zooxanthellae; also microplankton and other small food bits. Tentacles extended in low light or at night to capture plankton.


REMARKS: Tangs and angelfishes like to nip and feed on them.
At night their soft tissues may swell to remove debris and sand that accumulates during the day.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Color on the Reef AQA17

Aquarium Corals E H Borneman TFH Publications 2001 pages 301-3

Ron’s flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/30683128974/in/album-72157659465376212/

Australian Institute of Marine Science  coral.aims.gov.au/factsheet.jsp?speciesCode=0350

Arkive.org www.arkive.org/open-brain-coral/trachyphyllia-geoffroyi/

IUCN www.iucnredlist.org/details/133260/0

Ron’s WordPress Shortlink  http://wp.me/p1DZ4b-1L5


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Hydrozoa
Order: Anthomedusae
Family: Milleporidae

Genus/species: Millepora sp. 


GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Colored brownish, greenish or
grayish, often with a yellow hue and light tips. Skeleton calcareous with diverse growth-forms from fine branching, to domes, encrusting, or sheet-like. May form extensive colonies to 2 m diameter.

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Pantropical, shallow reefs.

DIET IN THE WILD: Microplankton; zooxanthellae also provide nutrition.

REPRODUCTION: Sexual reproduction, with both medusa and polyp
stages; asexual reproduction via budding. Note Anthozoan corals have only a polyp stage.


CONSERVATION STATUS: All coral reef species are threatened due to global warming. 

REMARKS: Fire corals are important reef-building organisms, though they are not closely related to the most common group of reef-building hard corals (Scleractinians), which belong to an entirely different class (Anthozoa). Unlike octocorals or hexacorals, fire corals possess polyps so small they are almost microscopic. One type is armed with nematocysts for food-capture and defense; the other type are capable of sexual reproduction. Potent nematocysts are also used to clear the coral of organisms that might shade zooxanthellae and can inflict a painful, burning sting to humans, hence the common name. Fire corals can outcompete many other corals by growing large quickly. and dominating the available space.

Venoms Cluster

Fire Coral PR24

flickr  http://www.flickr.com/photos/cas_docents/sets/72157623828845591/with/3271264676/

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