seen? These disk-shaped hard corals are
among the most commonly seen on many of our shores.
Colonies can be large (20-50cm). A colony can take on a wide variety
of shapes, depending on surrounding environment factors. Thus it is
hard to distinguish Turbinaria species by the colony shape
alone. Colonies may form plates that may simply be flat disks; or
encrusting to follow the contours of the surface; sometimes with towers
rising from the centre; to cup- or vase-like shapes. Colonies growing
in areas with high water movement may become twisted and folded into
flower-like shapes or other fantasty shapes. They come in a wide range
of colours from blue, green to yellow and brown, and pink often in
corallites are distinctively spaced apart, usually with a smooth surface
in between them. Corallites are only found on the upper surface of
the colony. In some species, the corallites are shallow cups sunken
into the surface, in others sticking out in tubular or conical shapes.
Polyps generally look like tiny sea
anemones with a tubular body column and a ring of tentacles around
a central mouth.
are difficult to positively identify without close examination. On
this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience
of display. See
and threats: Some Turbinaria corals recorded for
Singapore are listed as globally threatened by
the IUCN. Like other creatures of the intertidal zone, they
are affected by human activities such as reclamation and pollution.
Trampling by careless visitors, and over-collection also have an
impact on local populations.
Tuas, Jul 06
Two different kinds of Disk corals.
corals on Singapore shores
Flowery disk coral
Colony flat plate often ruffled so it resembles a cabbage.
Corallites sunken to sticking out and tubular, large (0.6cm).
Polyps large and expanded
even during the day.
sunken to conical.
with fewer short entacles.
with many short tentacles.
Thin disk coral
Colony plate-like thin (0.2-0.5cm)
shaped into a cup or inverted cone.
Corallites tiny low rounded bumps.
with few short tentacles.
*Species are difficult
to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of
species recorded for Singapore
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 **the species found on many shores in
in red are those listed as threatened
on the IUCN global list.
corals seen awaiting identification
are difficult to positively identify without close examination
with a microscope. On this website,
they are grouped by external features for convenience of display.
Turbinaria mesenterina** (Vulnerable)
(Flowery disk coral) (Vulnerable)
Turbinaria radicalis (Near Threatened)
Turbinaria reniformis (Vulnerable)
Turbinaria stellulata (Vulnerable)
- 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.
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.
Harry and Daniel Knop. 2005. Corals:
Indo-Pacific Field Guide IKAN-Unterwasserachiv, Frankfurt. 305 pp.
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.