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.
your step as you might break these flat animals that live
on sandy areas.
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,
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
Raffles Lighthouse, Jul 06
Single slit-like mouth often
with banded 'lips'.
Underside somewhat concave.
still stuck to a rock.
Sisters Island, Jan 07
Tanah Merah, Jul 11
Dead coral with
stalk on the underside.
Terumbu Pempang Laut, Apr 11
Splitting up into two?
Besar, Jun 09
mushroom corals on Singapore shores
photos of circular mushroom corals on Singapore shores
*Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience