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Phylum Cnidaria > Class Anthozoa > Subclass Zoantharia/Hexacorallia > Order Scleractinia > Family Faviidae
Zebra coral
Oulastrea crispata*
Family Oulastreidae
updated Nov 15

if you learn only 3 things about them ...
These small corals are common on stones and rocks. Don't step on them!
They have a distinctive black-and-white skeleton.
Polyps on submerged portions may be extended, look for them.

Where seen? This hard coral with a black-and-white skeleton is among the most commonly encountered of our hard corals. Even rather 'beat up' shores may have small colonies encrusting rocks and stones. This hardy coral grows in murky waters and even where it is often exposed to air at low tide. Elsewhere, the colonies are encrusting and grow only to a few centimetres. Oulastrea crispata is the only species in the genus. It was previously under Family Faviidae but is now placed in "Scleractinia incertae sedis (Family)" which means a taxonomic group where its broader relationships are unknown or undefined.

Features: Colonies about 10-15cm, sometimes much smaller. The colony tends to be encrusting, sometimes a small boulder-shape. Corallites small (about 0.5cm) circular rings with thick white radiating wall partitions (septa) on a black background. The background remains black even after the colony is dead, thus its common name. The polyps have many long thin tentacles and are brownish, sometimes with a greenish tinge and a bright green mouth.

Some Montastrea species may appear similar.

Kusu Island, Jun 05


Lazarus, Apr 12

Pulau Hantu, Jan 12

Pulau Hantu, Jan 12



Pasir Ris, Aug 11

Changi, May 06

Pulau Ubin, Jun 08


Beting Bronok, Aug 05

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

Zebra hard corals on Singapore shores

Photos of Zebra hard corals for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map


Pulau Semakau East, Jan 16
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.


Terumbu Berkas, Jan 10

Pulau Pawai, Dec 09

Pulau Biola, Dec 09

Photo shared by Jamed Koh on his flickr.


Pulau Salu, Aug 10

Pulau Salu, Jun 10


Links

  • Oulastrea crispata on Corals of the World online on the Australian Institute of Marine Science website: Technical fact sheet.
  • Oulastrea crispata on the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species website: Technical fact sheet.
  • Oulastrea crispata on Reef Corals of the Indo-Malayan Seas, the Marine Species Identification Portal: Technical fact sheet.
  • Oulastrea crispata on SeaLife Base: Technical fact sheet.

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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