hard corals text index | photo index
Phylum Cnidaria > Class Anthozoa > Subclass Zoantharia/Hexacorallia > Order Scleractinia > Family Agariciidae
Ringed plate coral
Pachyseris speciosa*
Family Agariciidae
updated Nov 2019
Where seen? This plate-like hard coral with rings of concentric ridges is sometimes seen on our undisturbed Southern shores among living corals. 'Pachys' means 'thick' while 'seris' means 'lettuce-like'. It is also known as Serpent coral and Elephant skin coral.

Features: Plate-like colonies 10-20cm, sometimes larger on undisturbed reefs, forming tiers of thin plates. The upper surface has ridges that are parallel to the growing edge, thus forming concentric rings. There is a texture of fine lines perpendicular to the ridges. The polyps are usually not visible, and it is hard to distinguish the corallite centres and mouths. Only a thin tissue covers the skeleton. The tissue bears cilia (thin hairs). Colours seen include brown, orangey, blue and green.

Tiers of plates.
Pulau Semakau, Aug 07

Thick ridges form concentric rings
Fine lines perpendicular to thick ridges.

*Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of display.

Ringed plate corals on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

East Coast PCN, Jul 20
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Tanah Merah, Jun 10
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.

Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, Jun 15
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal, Jun 22
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Competing with a Disk coral.

St Johns Island, Apr 16
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Terumbu Pempang Tengah, Jul 12
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Sisters Island, Aug 07

Pulau Berkas, May 10

Pulau Hantu, Jun 08

Beting Bemban Besar, May 10

Beting Bemban Besar, Jun 09

Terumbu Raya, Jul 09

Pulau Salu, Apr 21
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.


  • Danwei Huang, Karenne P. P. Tun, L. M Chou and Peter A. Todd. 30 Dec 2009. An inventory of zooxanthellate sclerectinian corals in Singapore including 33 new records (pdf). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement No. 22: 69-80.
  • Veron, Jen. 2000. Corals of the World Australian Institute of Marine Science, Australia. 3 volumes.
  • Chou, L. M., 1998. A Guide to the Coral Reef Life of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 128 pages.
  • Chou Loke Meng. 1989. Hard corals of Singapore. Reef Ecology Study Team, the National University of Singapore. A set of 4 posters.
  • Erhardt, Harry and Daniel Knop. 2005. Corals: Indo-Pacific Field Guide IKAN-Unterwasserachiv, Frankfurt. 305 pp.
  • Borneman, Eric H. 2001. Aquarium Corals: Selection, Husbandry and Natural History T.F. H Publications. 464 pp
  • Wee Y.C. and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore. National Council on the Environment. 163pp.
  • Ng, P. K. L. & Y. C. Wee, 1994. The Singapore Red Data Book: Threatened Plants and Animals of Singapore. The Nature Society (Singapore), Singapore. 343 pp.
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