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Phylum Cnidaria > Class Anthozoa > Subclass Zoantharia/Hexacorallia > Order Scleractinia > Family Faviidae
Moon coral
Diploastrea heliopora*
Family Diploastreidae
updated Nov 2019
Where seen? This beautiful neat coral is sometimes seen, usually on our undisturbed Southern shores. Diploastrea heliopora is the only member of this genus and the only genus in the Family Diploastreidae. Favia laxa may appear similar.

Features: Colonies 15-30cm, elsewhere recorded to grow up to 5m wide and 2m tall. The colonies are said to be usually dome-shaped but may become almost spherical boulders. Some seen were encrusting. The corallites (1cm) are similarly-sized neat domes with a small central opening. Neat narrow ridges on the corallite radiate out in regular rays. The corallites are regularly spaced out for an overall pattern that is neat and tidy. The large polyp tentacles are said to emerge at night. Colours seen include brown, pinkish-brown sometimes with a bluish tinge.

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 Jong, Jul 07

Tentacles about to emerge?
Kusu Island, Jun 15
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.

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

Moon corals on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

Sentosa Serapong, Jul 15
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

St. John's Island, May 10
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

St. John's Island, Apr 21
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

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

Beting Bemban Besar, May 22
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Pulau Semakau (North), Jul 20

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Terumbu Semakau, Jun 10

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his flickr.

Terumbu Salu, Jan 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.
  • Chou, L. M., 1998. A Guide to the Coral Reef Life of Singapore. Singapore Science Centre. 128 pages.
  • 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
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