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Phylum Cnidaria > Class Anthozoa > Subclass Zoantharia/Hexacorallia > Order Scleractinia > Family Faviidae
Jigsaw maze corals
awaiting identification *
Family Merulinidae

updated Nov 2019
Where seen? These corals with crooked maze-like corallites that look like jigsaw puzzles are often seen on many of our Southern shores.

Features: Colonies seen 10-25cm, sometimes larger. Colonies are generally a smooth hemi-spherical shape. Some are nearly ball-shaped rather than hemi-spherical. The corallites have parallel walls that form long meandering valleys. The result is a regular fine pattern that resembles a jigsaw puzzle. In some, the shared walls are tall and thin, in others rather broad. Some have a groove at the top of the walls. Those seen with tentacles extended had short tentacles emerging from broad fleshy tissue. Tentacles have rounded tips. Colours seen include pale beige, brown, green, blue and purple, often contrasting coloured walls and valleys.

Some species of corals recorded for Singapore that have these patterns include: Oulophyllia, Platygyra and Goniastrea species.
It's hard to distinguish them without close examination of small features and they are grouped here by large external features for convenience of display.

Merulind corals with corallites that form short hexagonal or crooked cells are grouped under Maze hexagonal corals.

Kusu Island, Jun 04

Kusu Island, Jun 21

Sentosa, Jun 06

Sentosa, May 07

Kusu Island, Jun 04

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

Jigsaw maze corals on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

Terumbu Semakau, Jun 10

Photo shared by Marcus Ng on his flickr.

Pulau Salu, Jun 10


Pulau Berkas, May 10

Pulau Pawai, Dec 09

Terumbu Salu, Jan 10

Pulau Salu, Aug 10
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