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Phylum Cnidaria > Class Anthozoa > Subclass Zoantharia/Hexacorallia > Order Scleractinia > Family Faviidae
Moon coral
Diploastrea heliopora*
Family Faviidae
updated May 13

Where seen? This beautiful neat coral is rarely seen, so far only on some of our Southern shores. Diploastrea heliopora is the only member of this genus. Favia laxa also of the Family Faviidae 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


Pulau Semakau, Aug 08

Terumbu Raya, Feb 09

Terumbu Raya, Feb 09

*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

Photos of Moon corals for free download from wildsingapore flickr


Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Sightings shared by others:

Terumbu Semakau, Jun 10

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his flickr.

Terumbu Salu, Jan 10

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

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.
  • 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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