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Related Articles: Large Polyp Stony CoralsStony or True Corals, Order Scleractinia, Dyed Corals

/The Best Livestock For Your Reef Aquarium:

"Honeycomb", Brain Corals, More and Less, Family Faviidae, pt. 3

To: Part 1, Part 2,

By Bob Fenner

Gorgeous orange Faviid in N. Sulawesi

Genus Leptastrea (Dana 1846):

Leptastrea purpurea (Dana 1846). Crust Coral. Encrusting to lobe-like. Large (1/8") calyces with walls touching. Indo-Pacific. Here in Hawai'i. Occurs in tangs, greenish to purplish browns.

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Genus Leptoria. Brain Corals that have sinuous valleys that are longer, narrower than Platygyra. Also Platygyra columellas are thin, lamellar, those of Leptoria are wide, spongy. 

Leptoria phrygia (Ellis & Solander 1786). Massive colonies of irregular layout. Thick walled, with septa regular in size, uniform. Sinuous valleys, plate-like columellae. Common on reef margin/lip. Brown, tan to dark green. Red Sea image. 

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Genus Manicina Ehrenberg 1834. Rose Corals. One species, tropical West Atlantic. Free-living or attached. Note groove on top of valley walls. 

Manicina areolata Linnaeus 1758.  Though its range is restricted to the Tropical West Atlantic it continues to be mis-sold as Trachyphyllia geoffroyi Audouin 1826, the Rose Coral by some dealers. Below, two four inch specimens in less than a foot of water in a seagrass bed  in Placencia, Belize, the second with tentacles extended. The last a hemispherical "adult" specimen of about a foot diameter in the Bahamas. Close-up at right. 

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Genus Montastrea Blainville 1830. Massive, flat or dome-shaped colonies. Monocentric and plocoid corallites. 

Montastrea annularis (Ellis and Solander 1786),  Lobed Star Coral. Tropical West Atlantic. To ten feet tall. Common. Found as clusters of columns with domed tops. Living polyps on upper areas of colonies, dead, eroded below. Corallites appear as uniform in size, shape. Conical to flush with colony surface. Longer and short septa alternate, small, compact columellae. Cozumel pix by Di.F below.
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Montastrea cavernosa Great or Large Star Coral. Colonies as boulder shaped domes. Distinctive blister/cone-like corallites of larger than other TWA species (about 9mm in diameter). At right, a massive colony in Bonaire. First row below: Some pix taken in St. Lucia showing color and shape differences. The latter at night while this colony was feeding. Last, a close-up by Di.F in Cozumel. Second row below, some pix from Bonaire, the last at night.

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Montastrea faveolata Mountainous Star Coral. In mounds or large sheets, with bumpy appearance, with corallites more or less arranged in vertical rows. Belize image. 

Genus Oulophyllia. Convex or hemispherical colonies of meandering valleys with corallites arranged in short, discontinuous valleys (wider than Platygyra; 10-20mm wide; thin, lamellar in Leptoria).

Genus Platygyra Ehrenberg 1834. Brain Corals. Massive colonies that are either flat or rough boulder-like. Centers of corallites (columellae) are sponge-like. If you look closely you can see rows of mouths along the valleys. 

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Platygyra acuta Veron 2000. Boulder-like colonies with meandering corallites that show sharp walls 

 

Platygyra daedalea (Ellis & Solander 1786). Massive, encrusting to hemispherical colonies that are meandroid, with corallites that are thick-walled. Exsert septa that appear ragged. Color: Generally brown with green valleys. Common. Below: Red Sea images. 
Platygyra lamellina (Ehrenberg 1834). Massive colonies whose corallites have thick walls that are uniform and rounded. Fiji and Red Sea images. 

Platygyra sinensis (Milne Edwards and Haime 1849). Thin-walled septa that are outwardly facing. No obvious centers (columellae). Fiji image. 


Genus Solanastrea:

Solanastrea bournoni (Milne Edwards and Haime 1850). Smooth Star Coral. Cozumel 2011.



Faviids do occur in mixes of colors within one colony. Here's a colony at House of Fins in 2013.




Bibliography/Further Reading:

Coral Search

Borneman, Eric H. 2001. Aquarium Corals; Selection, Husbandry and Natural History. Microcosm-TFH NJ, USA. 464 pp.

Fossa, Svein A. & Alf Jacob Nilsen. 1998 (1st ed.). The Modern Coral Reef Aquarium, v.2 (Cnidarians). Bergit Schmettkamp Verlag, Bornheim, Germany. 479pp.

Gutierrez, Santiago. 1990. From a reef's point of view. Montastrea annularis and cavernosa. FAMA 9/90.

Hoover, John. 1998. Hawai'i's Sea Creatures. A Guide to Hawai'i's Marine Invertebrates. Mutual Publishing, Honolulu HI. 366pp. 

Humann, Paul. 1993. Reef Coral Identification; Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas. New World Publications, Inc. Jacksonville, FL.  239pp.

Veron, J.E.N. 1986. Corals of Australia and the Indo-Pacific. U. of HI press, Honolulu. 644 pp. 

Veron, J.E.N. 2000. Corals of the World. Australian Institute of Marine Science. Queensland, Australia. three volumes. 

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