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Related Articles: True or Stony Corals, Order Scleractinia

/The Best Livestock For Your Reef Aquarium:

 Corals of the Family Siderastreidae  

By Bob Fenner

Siderastrea siderea, Belize

Family Siderastreidae, Vaughn & Wells 1943.

Though hard to make out exactly with a live specimen and nothing to magnify the view, this widespread family's members are unified by characteristics of their individual polyp skeleton (corallite) structure. These are flush with the surrounding carbonate mass (coenosteum) by thick septo-costae, with the septa fused in the middle to form a fan or star-like grouping.

Range:

The six genera of Siderastreids really get around (five are Indo-Pacific, one Pacific and Atlantic). Found in the Red Sea, eastern African shores over to the mid-Pacific, Society Islands, along the tropical Eastern Pacific, tropical West Atlantic, Brazil, and tropical eastern Atlantic coast.

Aquarium use:

Oddly enough, for such common species in the wild, it is rare to find a Siderastreid offered for sale in the ornamental trade.

Genus Coscinaraea

Coscinaraea sp., NE Sulawesi, Bitung/Lembeh side, Sulawesi, Indo.

Genus Psammacora Dana 1846, Pillar, Cat's Paw Coral.

Psammacora explanulata Horst 1922. Plate-like or encrusting colonies whose corallites are regularly distributed and have meandering septa-costae. N. Sulawesi image. 

Psammacora haimeana Milne Edwards & Haime 1851. Submassive colonies whose corallites are striated at their bottoms. Walls with steep sides. N. Sulawesi image. 

Genus Pseudosiderastrea Yabe & Sugiyama 1935. Monotypic    

Pseudosiderastrea tayami Yabe & Sugiyama 1935. Dome shaped colonies arise from laminar ones, up to 16 cm. across. Corallites polygonal, cerioid, 3-6 mm. across. Septa evenly spaced, join each other at wall. N. Sulawesi (bottom left) and Red Sea images. 

Genus Siderastrea de Blainville 1830. Starlet Coral. Perhaps the most widespread coral genus. Found most everywhere corals are found around the world.

Siderastrea radians. Lesser Starlet Coral. Encrusting plates or irregular domes. Colonies 4-12 inches in diameter. Corallites small (2-3 mm in diameter). Tropical West Atlantic. Bonaire pix.

Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.
Siderastrea siderea (Ellis & Solander 1786). Pink Starlet Coral. Encrusting to massive/boulder-like. Corallites small (3-4.5 mm in diameter). Tropical West Atlantic. Bahamas images.

Bigger PIX:
 The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.

 

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