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Phylum Cnidaria > Class Anthozoa > Subclass Zoantharia/Hexacorallia > Order Scleractinia > Family Dendrophyllidae
Disk corals
Turbinaria sp.

Family Dendrophylliidae
updated Apr 13

Where seen? These disk-shaped hard corals are among the most commonly seen on many of our shores.

Features: 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 pastel shades.

The 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.

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

Status 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.

Disk corals on Singapore shores


Flowery disk coral
Turbinaria peltata
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.


Encrusting disk coral
Colony plate-like thick (1cm)
encrusting, edges against the surface.

Corallites sunken to conical.

Polyps tiny
with fewer short entacles.


Ruffled disk coral
Colony plate-like thin (0.5cm)
edges often folded into ruffles.

Corallites conical.

Polyps tiny
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.

Polyps tiny
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 display.

Turbinaria species recorded for Singapore
from 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 Danwei's paper.
in red are those listed as threatened on the IUCN global list.


  Disk corals seen awaiting identification
Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination with a microscope. On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of display.
  Encrusting disk coral
Ruffled disk coral
Thin disk coral

  Family Dendrophyllidae
Genus Turbinaria
  Turbinaria frondens
Turbinaria irregularis
Turbinaria mesenterina**
(Vulnerable)
Turbinaria peltata**
(Flowery disk coral) (Vulnerable)
Turbinaria radicalis (Near Threatened)
Turbinaria reniformis
(Vulnerable)
Turbinaria stellulata
(Vulnerable)

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.
  • 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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