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FAQs about Stony Coral, Cnidarian Identification 15

Related FAQs: Stony Coral ID 1, Stony Coral ID 2, Stony Coral ID 3, Stony Coral ID 4, Stony Coral ID 5, Stony Coral ID 6, Stony Coral ID 7, Stony Coral ID 8, Stony Coral ID 9, Stony Coral ID 10, Coral ID 11, Stony Coral ID 12, Stony Coral ID 13, Stony Coral ID 14, & Cnidarian Identification, Stony FAQs 1, Stony FAQs 2, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition, Disease/Health, PropagationCoral CompatibilityStony Coral Behavior,

Related Articles: Stony Corals

Coral identification    12/19/19
I need your help about this coral identification
<Appears to be a Faviid of some sort (Family Faviidae); may be able to guess further to genus if you can give me an idea of the diameter of the polyps (in mm.). Bob Fenner>

Puerto Rico coral ID      4/6/18
I have a friend that is in Puerto Rico helping out with environmental cleanup after the hurricane. She was never really a coral person but needs to ID some corals and to be honest it has been forever since I dug into the
Caribbean corals. I was wondering if you could give me your expert opinion on 3 of them. Thanks Bob!
Best Regards,
Cory Shank
The first image looks like a Pavona, so i would assume an Agaricia sp.?
<I'm re-answering as I looked at these in another order. Yes to this one being an Agariciid. I make it out as A. lamarcki>
The second one almost looks like a chalice, I haven't dug to deep and I am quite rusty with Caribbean corals.
<Mmm, am guessing while I ask friends for their input. Is this a Mycetophyllia young colony... M. lamarckiana?... Turns out it is likely M. aliciae>
I'm pretty sure the third image is a "HAIRY" Corallimorph, she couldn't give me anyone except for the image.
<Yes, for me, Rhodactis osculifera. Bob Fenner>

Re: Puerto Rico coral ID    4/7/18
Thanks again Bob!
Hope we can catch up again sometime soon!
<Me too Cory. BobF>

Coral IDs for Dale... Megs and megs of bunk pix      3/13/18
Jason from SDMA gave me a bucket of coral. I wanted to know if you could ID these for me. Sorry for the crappy pics. I don't buy those expensive cell phones.
<Ah mate...>
And Ill have to send separate emails. I don't know how to take smaller pics.
I appreciate any names you can give me. Thank you. Dale.
<This looks to be some species of Mussid, perhaps a Scolymia.... Bob Fenner>

cropped, spiffed

Coral ID      3/13/18
<.... Pectiniids? Read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/pectiniids.htm

Coral Identification          5/1/16
We took these photos in Bolinao, Pangasinan. I've seen your pics from S. Leyte and they're awesome shots! Thank you again sir for helping.
<Ahh; very nice... and S. Leyte is one of my fave places to dive/adventure as well. I make out all your IDs as tentatively correct (at least to genus) and the one labeled: cfvbnm is likely a soft coral of the genus Sarcophyton:
Bob Fenner>

Platygyra sinensis                                                       Favites complanata

Goniopora burgosi                                              Favites paraflexuosa

Goniastrea mantonae                                                  cfvbnm     Toadstool

Acropora latistella                                                             Coeloseris mayeri

Fungia concinna                                                                  Favia favus

Re: Coral Identification        5/2/16
I changed Porites astreoides to Acropora crateriformis
<Mmm; maybe... though the polyps don't look like the genus Acropora to me; P. asteroides is not found in the Pacific. There are of course other Porites spp.>
also I'm not so sure. This is my first time in identifying corals in the field so I'm really inexperienced. I'm having trouble about the Goniastrea mantonae, I'm thinking of changing it to Favites abdita or F.vasta. What do you think,
<Ahh; this might be a Favites species. Do you have access to the works of J.E.N. Veron? These are about the best... Need close up (a diopter? Perhaps a setting on your camera if it's a compact digital) pix of corallites... or images of good size and resolution (clarity) to expand to look close a details. Bob Fenner>

Re: Coral Identification        5/2/16
Alright sir, I will try to find look for references. You've been a great help sir, thank you so much!
<Certainly welcome Clarisse. Cheers, BobF>

LPS Identification      1/6/15
Good Evening The fine crew at WWM,I was wondering if you could help me identify the coral in the middle of the picture. I was thinking some type of Favia or Favites, but now I'm not so sure.
<Maybe.... or a Caulastrea species?>
The light green polyps on top are the same as the rest of the coral. Is it common for younger polyps to have tentacles in the Favites or Favia Venus?
<Genus? Yes>
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Have a great night! Jason
<And you, Bob Fenner>

Re: LPS Identification      1/8/16
Thanks Bob for the speedy reply! I'll check into the Genus Caulastrea, not sure that is spelled right, but I believe they are not encrusting and what I have is.
<Some species are... Do you have any of Veron's works?>
Either way I believe the care is roughly the same so maybe exact species isn't necessary.
<Yes; tis so>
I have another question regarding water changes, currently I do 3 gallon changes daily on a 20 gallon plus 15 gallon sump. I have noticed that I'm starting to have brown diatoms growing on the glass, do you think that will subside in time?
<Mmm; possibly... a matter of balances... best to do what you can to increase RedOx, improve skimming, use (prudent) of chem. filter media; poss. use of competitors>
I know its related to the water changes. My source water is the primo water refills at Wal-Mart. The water there is suppose to go through a sediment filter, carbon block, to, and finally UV. I want to get an rodi unit but that will have to wait. If it wont go away on its own then what is the best way to remove silicates from the water.
<Ahh; do please search/see/read on WWM Re. Am out diving in Florida and hard to look u>
Thanks in advance for helping me with my questions and have a great night. Jason
<Thank you. Bob Fenner>
Re: LPS Identification     1/9/16

Bob, As always thanks for your time, effort, and help. I will definitely check on the 3 volume compendium, and thanks for the website. Jason
<Am very sure you will enjoy and gain by its perusal. A personal note; a dear (and unfortunately departed) friend, John Jackson, of Odyssey Publishing was very good friends w/ J.E.N (Charlie) Veron... in fact brought him out to the MACNA... was it in Boston? Years ago. I'd pre-purchased a set of this work, and John gifted me one of the hundred leather bound ones... I gave away the first, and yes; have written in the limited ones... as is my habit. BobF>

Unknown coral branch... thing.       10/13/15
Hi guys!
I received what appears to be a piece of some type of branching coral that I cannot identify.
It's green with a purple cast to it (or visa versa) and has a number of widely separated polyps. I have not seen them open.
<Mmm; what does this thing feel like? Is it at all flexible? If so, my tentative group vote is going to a Rindkorallen; a Gorgonian>
It kinda looks like the antagonist from Day Of the Tentacle, which would be awesome if true.
Any thoughts?
<Bob Fenner>


Re: Unknown coral branch... thing.       10/15/15
<ten megs....>
No, not at all flexible. Here is another pic, and a pic of the hard internal structure at the fractured end.
<A branching Scleractinian of some sort.... many Families possibilities.
Have to wait till it's larger and more close up pix of corallites to tell more. Bob Fenner>

Re: Unknown coral branch... thing.       10/15/15
Thank you!

Re: Coral Calamity In Over My Head        8/23/15
I hope it is ok that I don't restate my tank stats, they are below in original message. I wanted to send a couple pictures to confirm the identity of my "cauliflower" coral. His polyps are extended, not as much as at store but the lighting is more intense. Does he look happy, content? Any ideas about how to keep him well? Thanks.
<Does look like a Pocillopora! And open... Do see WWM re the family.
and the linked files at top.
Bob Fenner>

cropped, full size

Encrusting SPS ID         5/22/15
Hi gang,
Have a coral that we're having trouble identifying. It's really cool. Came as a hitchhiker and grows pretty fast. Attached pics. Thank you!
<Mmm; due to your stmt. re fast growth, the size and shape of these exsert polyps, am guessing this is some sort of encrusting Porites... but, am sending off to friends for their input. Bob Fenner>

Re: Encrusting SPS ID      5/23/15
Thank you Bob! I was thinking a Porites, but couldn't find an exact match while combing visual references.
Looking forward to your findings!
<Me too... have sent out to Jake Adams, Walt Smith; asked Lemon TyK on FB... We'll see. BobF>

Coral ID     4/21/15
Hey Bob, Robert George Peets posted this coral in one of the fb groups.
Collected off the coast of Bermuda about 30' down. Said the piece that was around 5' wide.
<Five feet?!>

It has not opened all the way but did eat some mysis. Thought you might know. He has been involved in coral conservation programs in Bermuda for 12 years and has no idea what it is. Help would be appreciated.
Lori Johnson
<Mmm; well; the size of polyps, color, the stated shape of the colony... may be Eusmilia fastigiata... the polyps/skeleton are usually more pronounced. Their colonies max out at about half this size. A beauty in any case. Bob Fenner>

Galaxea, and mystery Cnidarian
I first and foremost would like to thank you for the informative website, and at first I have some good news. I took in a small Galaxea colony that had completely bleached about nine days ago, it was completely transparent except for a few tentacles with had faint green color. Since then here is the color I have seen develop, it also was not exhibiting polyp extension in the old tank. I am frequently surprised at how resilient coral can be.
Anyway, nearly a year ago I emailed about a strange species that appeared in my fish tank attached to a Favites colony I purchased. I thought it was likely Euphyllia of some sort, but it has exhibited non-Euphylliid behavior
I am fairly certain. It underwent rapid division (started with two separate individuals and now have over 15 all differ in size largest is about 3.5 inches) It had tissue that was attached to the rock, but after the skeleton reaches about an inch in diameter it somehow detaches from the rock (including the skeleton) I know I must sound crazy, but the colony also is growing in diameter, but not especially in height. I have had Euphyllia before, and never seen this kind of growth. I will attach the current picture as well as the original I sent in and if more are needed let me know because Im not sure what this is. In hopes all is well,
<Might be Euphyllia; perhaps acanthocauli... from a Fungiid: Heliofungia

Bob Fenner>

Re: Galaxea, and mystery Cnidarian
Would a picture with retracted tissue, and more skeleton be more helpful?
<If it was a close up and well-resolved, yes. BobF>

What is this ?   Scler. ID      3/19/14
I found this coral on a colony of Zoas I received from live aquaria.
Decided to remove from the liverock and add to a frag plug. A couple months later it's spread like crazy. I have searched everywhere and still have no clue what it may be.... Any help would be greatly appreciated!!
<That pattern.... Is this Merulina? Bob Fenner>

trying to ID a coral     1/30/14
Greetings! I am really enjoying this site.  I have a  65 gal tank with a 20 sump. There is liverock and sand. I recently bought another small piece of live rock I thought had dead coral on it. I'm thinking it might still be alive!  I am trying to figure out what exactly it is I have and how to take care of it. I have showed a few LFS staff the attached picture and they think it's a sun cup?
<Likely a Dendrophylliid; though some of the Caryophylliids could be considered>
 I guess I'm not sold on it because of the coloring and spacing between tubes. I've looked through pictures on this site and see possibilities of Goniopora and Dendrophyllildae( black tube)?. What do you think? I'm very excited because I'm wanting to branch out and try some low light corals and macroalgae to spruce up my tank.
Thanks! Tracy
<See the pix of both families on WWM. Bob Fenner> 


Yo Bob      10/27/13
Mussid ID corr.s, Indo-Pacific Scolymia are now Acanthophyllia

Hi Bob,
<Hey Jules... now am humming the Beatles tune... A to middle C>
It was nice seeing you last weekend, as always.
<Ahh, a very nice time indeed>
I was just browsing Google looking at some coral photos to help illustrate the answer to a taxonomic question someone sent me, and I happened to notice that you have a very special photo on your site-- I know, you probably are thinking that all of your photos are special. They are, but this one is particularly so. I have attached it here.
<Will look for... oh, I see you explain below>
You use to illustrate Scolymia, hence the name you gave the photo, but it is not Scolymia. It is Acanthophyllia deshayesiana. It is a common, high-value import from Indonesia, usually imported as Scolymia, sometimes as Cynarina, but now legally only as Acanthophyllia. Long story. The are many many photographs of this coral in aquariums since it is a very popular aquarium coral. There are to the best of my knowledge no published photographs of it taken in the wild. Hence my interest in your photo.
<Ahh, thank you>
You listed Raja Ampat as the locality. Do you remember the depth and any other details?
<Aye yi yi... I barely remember what I made for bfast this AM. Many years... decades back, I showed some discipline in labeling just finished rolls of film with such notes... >
Even the "Cynarina lacrymalis" featured just above the Acanthophyllia, also photographed at Raja Ampat, is likely a special photo. I believe it shows Indophyllia macassarensis, which is sometimes not easy to distinguish from Cynarina lacrymalis, and sometimes not easy to distinguish from Acanthophyllia deshayesiana. If you look at my book Corals A Quick Reference Guide you will see that I grouped these three species into the genus Cynarina, which is what I suspect will ultimately happen on the taxonomic front, though it may take many years.
<Am very inclined to beg you to look through my (many, Way too many) totally unidentified Cnid. pix, let alone my likely mis-id'ds>
With your permission I would like to forward a copy of this photo to Charlie Veron. He has recently recognized the validity of this coral (after many years of me beating him over the head about it because he refused to separate it from Cynarina lacrymalis). He has lots of good AQUARIUM photos of it to illustrate his online version of Corals of the World, but he has no underwater photos from the natural setting. I am sure he would love to feature your photo.
Best Regards, Julian
<Ah, certainly... I will take a quick look on my HD and attach the original here for all's use; actually three others labeled in the same series. Cheers, BobF>

Re: Yo Bob      10/27/13
Thank you Bob, these photos are GREAT !
<Ah my friend; it's the gear and opportunity>
I need to go to Raja Ampat.
<Oh! I'll gladly go w/ you... Really! Have the time, funds; just fresh out of dive-adventure partners... Is a fab area... Arenui, Cheng Ho...>
I have sent them on to Charlie Veron and I am sure he will contact you about them at some point.
Best Regards,
<Cheers, and again, am not joshing re getting out for diving tog. BobF>
Julian      10/28/13
Julian... on being a bit more awake, re-reading your msg., have noted your ref. to "Cynarina" I likely have (mis)labeled from RA. Have included the three images from my HD here for your and JEN's perusal. Cheers, BobF
Re: Yo Bob      10/28/13
Thank you Bob, FYI,  
Cynarina lacrymalis RA (1).JPG is Cynarina lacrymalis
Cynarina lacrymalis RA (2).JPG is Indophyllia macassarensis
Cynarina lacrymalis RA.JPG is Trachyphyllia geoffroyi

<Am more and more convinced to have you ID all Scleractinian pix! Thank you again. Bob>
Best Regards,

Acanthophyllia photos    10/28/13
Hi Bob,
<Hey Dr. V., I met you years back when John Jackson (RIP) had you over to the States for the MACNA hobby conference>
Julian forwarded your photos of Acanthophyllia to me. And yes, I would indeed like to use them on Corals of the World website. Acknowledged of course. Is this OK with you?
<Ah yes; you (and all educational, non-commercial) uses of my work are fine to use> 
Very nice photos.
<Ahh; thank you. Am grateful to JulianS for straightening me out on these (and so many more likely) inaccurate ID.s>
Best wishes, Charlie
<Cheers, BobF>
Re Acanthophyllia photos    10/28/13
Many thanks Bob.
<Glad to share. BobF>

LPS ID    10/24/13
Hi Guys,
Could I bother you for an ID on the attached.  I have tried Googling but tend to go around in circles with no definitive answer.  I suspect a Lobophyllia...but.. Its about 6 inches across with multiple mouths.
<I see this/these... can you lift up the specimen, either take/send a photo or a description of what the skeleton is like underneath? Phaceloid, V-shaped, or?....  Take care not to have the specimen brush your wrist, forearm.
Bob Fenner>
Thanks in advance,

Re: LPS ID    10/25/13
Hi Bob,
<Hello David>
Thanks for the prompt reply.  When I am doing my maintenance over the weekend I will take a picture.
<Real good>
  However I cannot recall any significant detail visible from below.  Unlike other LPS in my tank I have never seen it in any state other than expanded and never been able to make out any detail of it's skeletal structure from above.  It started out with one mouth but as it grew the "secondary" mouths started to appear.
<A good characteristic, delimiter of possibilities... as will aspects of the under-skeleton be>
As you can probably tell from the picture the tentacles do not form a circle but are arranged in lobes or clover leaf type pattern towards the outside of the coral.
I have looked for IDs on other forums with little success and expected you to reply with an "its a plain old ****  **** ", so no pressure there :)
<I only have a few guesses re at this point. Often there are "aberrations" in the appearance of stony and soft corals grown under captive conditions (different than wild)>
I'm quite curious as I really like it and would love to get another one or two particularly if other colors were available.
<Likely this one can be (easily) fragged.... either parts broken or cut off including a mouth, or unceremoniously broken in pieces approximately from the center out. It is a beauty>
I will get back as soon as I have the detail you require.
<Cheers, BobF>
Re: LPS ID    10/25/13

Impatience got the better of me so maybe this will help <Ahh; does appear to be a Mussid of some sort... Perhaps of the genus Lobophyllia as you've speculated. B>
Re: LPS ID    10/25/13
Many thanks Bob
<Thank you David. B>
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