hard corals text index | photo index
Phylum Cnidaria > Class Anthozoa > Subclass Zoantharia/Hexacorallia > Order Scleractinia > Family Dendrophyllidae
Cave corals
Tubastrea and Dendrophyllia sp.

Family Dendrophylliidae
updated Nov 2019
Where seen? These small hard corals grow in dark places. Tiny colonies were seen at Raffles Lighthouse, as well as at Changi! It is difficult to tell apart Tubastraea and Dendrophyllia corals without a very close look at the corallite structure.

Features: Colony small, about 2-4cm in diameter, with a few large corallites often arranged like a bouquet of flowers. Usually in shady places in shallow water, e.g., under overhangs, under jetties, at the entrances of underwater caves, but also in other places with strong currents that bring in lots of plankton and nutrients. Corallites long and tubular. Polyp large (1-2cm), fleshy with many long slender tentacles. May be transparent, orange-yellow or brown. The polyps lack symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) and usually only expand at night to feed on plankton. Cave corals produce among the most dense skeletons of hard corals and can grow quite fast in good conditions

Raffles Lighthouse, Jul 06

Changi, Jun 12

Keppel Bay, Oct 09
Human uses: Tubastraea corals are among the first to have their bioactive compounds isolated. One compound called tubastrine was found to have anti-viral properties. The coral also produces substances that are toxic to the larvae of other hard corals, probably preventing these from settling near them.

Raffles Lighthouse, May 04

East Coast Park, Aug 09

Changi, Jul 12

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

Cave corals on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores


Pasir Ris Park, Jul 09

Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.

Punggol, Dec 10
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.



Kusu Island, May 22
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.

Kusu Island, Sep 19
Photo shared by Leon Tan on facebook.


Lazarus Island, Feb 11
Photo shared by Russel Low on facebook.

Kusu Island, Sep 19
Photo shared by Leon Tan on facebook.
 


Small Sisters Island, Aug 20
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Sisters Island, Jan 10
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.
 


Terumbu Bemban, Apr 11

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Terumbu Pempang Tengah, Apr 13

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.
 


Terumbu Semakau, Nov 11

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.


Pulau Biola, Dec 09

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his flickr.

Beting Bemban Besar, Apr 10

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his flickr.

Kusu Island, Jun 15


Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Dendrophyllia and Tubastraea species recorded for Singapore
from Wee Y.C. and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore.
*from WORMS

  Family Dendrophyllidae
  Dendrophyllia arbuscula
Dendrophyllia micranthus= *Tubastrea micranthus
Dendrophyllia nigrescens= *Tubastrea micranthus

Tubastraea aurea=*Tubastraea coccinea
Tubastraea diaphana

Links

References

  • 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.
  • Borneman, Eric H. 2001. Aquarium Corals: Selection, Husbandry and Natural History T.F. H Publications. 464 pp
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