hard corals text index | photo index
Phylum Cnidaria > Class Anthozoa > Subclass Zoantharia/Hexacorallia > Order Scleractinia > Family Euphylliidae > Euphyllia sp.
Torch anchor coral
Euphyllia glabrescens*
Family Euphylliidae
updated Nov 2019
Where seen? This small hard coral that resembles a cluster of sea anemones is sometimes seen on our undisturbed Southern shores.

Features: The colony appears to be boulder-shaped, those seen 10-20cm, sometimes much larger. But the colony is not solid (massive). Hidden under the tentacles, the corallites are branching and trumpet-shaped (phaceloid): long narrow column flaring out at the top (1-2cm). The branching corallites are arranged with the broad, flared portions facing out to form an overall spherical shape. But this feature is usually hidden when the polyps' long tentacles are expanded. Tentacles long (2-3cm) with a rounded white tip (not U-shaped). Colours seen beige, brown or blue with white tips.

Sometimes confused with other Euphyllia species. Here's more on how to tell apart the Euphyllia species.

With their tentacles fully extended, torch corals may also resemble Sunflower mushroom corals (Heliofungia actiniformis). The torch coral, however, has much shorter tentacles and of course an entirely different skeleton structure.

Status and threats: This coral is listed as globally Near 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.

Pulau Semakau, Dec 05

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

Torch anchor corals on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

Terumbu Semakau, Jun 12

Pulau Hantu, Jul 08

Terumbu Bemban, Jun 10
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.

Terumbu Semakau, May 10
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.

Terumbu Raya, Aug 21
Photo shared by Richard Kuah on facebook.

Beting Bemban Besar, Apr 10
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.

Beting Bemban Besar, May 11
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Pulau Berkas, May 10



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