seen? These smooth pillows of hard corals with round to
oval corallites are sometimes seen on some of our Southern shores. It was previously in Family Faviidae.
Features: The colony appears to
be boulder-shaped, those seen 10-20cm or larger. But the colony is
not solid (massive). The corallites are branching and trumpet-shaped
(phaceloid): long narrow column flaring out at the top to a circular
or oval shape (1-2.5cm diameter). The branching corallites may be
packed closely to one another, or spaced apart. They are arranged
with the broad, flared portions facing out so the colony forms an
overall spherical shape. The tissue is fleshy, smooth, sometimes with
bands in a contrasting colour. Tentacles many short, slender with
bulbous tips. Tentacles are seldom seen. The circular or oval top
of the corallite resemble eyes particularly when highlighted by the
fleshy tissue. This results in common names such as bullseye coral
and cat's eye coral. Colours seen include beige, brown, blue and greenish
Hiding places: Usually hidden
by the fleshy tissue, the 'hollow' structure of the branches provides
hiding places for small animals deep within the coral.
Sometimes confused with some species
of Lobed brain corals (Lobophyllia
sp.) that may also have branching corallites with
circular openings. Other corals that may appear similar include: Barabattoia
and some Favia species. More on how to tell apart hard
corals with big rings and fleshy tissue.
Status and threats: Caulastrea
echinulata recorded for Singapore are listed as globally Vulnerable
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
Besar, Jun 09
*Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of
corals on Singapore Shores
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.
species recorded for Singapore
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 **the species found on many shores in
in red are those listed as threatened
on the IUCN global list.
Caulastrea echinulata** (Vulnerable)