hard corals text index | photo index
Phylum Cnidaria > Class Anthozoa > Subclass Zoantharia/Hexacorallia > Order Scleractinia > Family Fungiidae > Genus Fungia
Circular mushroom coral
Fungia sp.*
Family Fungiidae
updated Oct 2016
if you learn only 3 things about them ...
When they are large, they are not attached to the ground.
Tiny ones may be seen attached to coral rubble.
Watch your step as you might break these flat animals that live on sandy areas.

Where seen? This saucer-shaped hard coral is sometimes seen on many of our Southern shores, on sandy shallow areas near living reefs. On some undisturbed shores, many individuals in various stages of development can be seen.

Features: Skeleton 10-15cm in diameter, but tiny ones 1-2cm sometimes seen attached to hard surfaces. Overall shape flat, circular and convex disk somewhat like a frisbee or upside-down saucer. Upper surface with thin continuous lines radiating from the centre, in some, the lines have fine 'teeth'. Single slit-like mouth in the centre of the upper surface. Often has banded 'lips' around the mouth. Tentacles are short, fat, tapering, rather sparse and even when fully extended, don't obscure the skeleton. Tentacles may be extended both during the day and at night. The underside usually concave, some with radiating lines of short bumps.

Large ones lie unattached, sometimes in groups of several individuals. Small ones are seen stuck to coral rubble often in clusters of several individuals. Colours seen include beige, brown, pink, blue, purplish, greenish.

Some Fungia species may also be elongated and oval, rather than circular.

Sometimes confused with the Sunflower mushroom hard coral (Heliofungia actiniformis) especially when the tentacles are retracted. The Sunflower mushroom hard coral also has a flat circular skeleton. However, it has long cylindrical white-tipped tentacles that when full extended, completely obscures the skeleton so that the coral resembles a sea anemone.

Status and threats: Fungia fungites is listed as globally Near Threatened by the IUCN.

Raffles Lighthouse, Jul 06

Single slit-like mouth often
with banded 'lips'.


Short tentacles.

Terumbu Raya, May 10

Underside somewhat concave.


Young corals still stuck to a rock.
Sisters Island, Jan 07

Young corals on stalks.
Tanah Merah, Jul 11

Dead coral with stalk on the underside.
Terumbu Pempang Laut, Apr 11


Sisters Island, Dec 05

Splitting up into two?

Beting Bemban Besar, Jun 09

Sisters Island, Feb 06

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

Circular mushroom corals on Singapore shores

Photos of Circular mushroom corals for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map


Tanah Merah, Jul 09
Photo shared by Toh Chay Hoon on her blog.

Tanah Merah, Jul 09
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Tanah Merah, Jun 10
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his flickr.


Terumbu Semakau, Jun 10
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Terumbu Pempang Laut, Apr 11
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.

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


Pulau Semakau, Feb 08
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his flickr.

Pulau Semakau, May 08
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his flickr.

Pulau Senang, Jun 10
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his flickr.
links | references | about | email Ria
Spot errors? Have a question? Want to share your sightings? email Ria I'll be glad to hear from you!
wildfactsheets website©ria tan 2008