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Phylum Cnidaria > Class Anthozoa > Subclass Zoantharia/Hexacorallia > Order Scleractinia > Family Poritidae > Genus Goniopora
Anemone coral
Goniopora sp.*

Family Poritidae
updated Nov 2019

Where seen? This hard coral with long-bodied polyps is commonly seen on many of our reefs, including those on our Northern shores. Although it is more common on our Southern shores, where clusters of the coral can form quite a large clump.

Features: Colonies clusters of short, fat columns with rounded tops, each about 10-15cm in diameter. The polyps may be large (0.5-1cm in diameter). The polyps have 24 tentacles and are usually extended when submerged, even in daylight. Some may have long skinny tentacles, others have short and fat ones. The body column can be very long (2-5cm). The polyps can retract completely into the skeleton, revealing the small corallites (0.5cm) circular or polygonal holes packed close to one another. Colours seen include shades of purple, pink, brown and blue.

May be mistaken for sea anemones when the long polyps are extended and hide the hard skeleton, thus its common name. Another common name is Flower pot coral as the colony looks like a bunch of long-stemmed flowers emerging from a pot.
Here's more on how to tell apart large sea anemones with long tentacles and large 'hairy' cnidarians.

Sometimes, tiny brown acoel flatworms are seen on the oral disk or body columns of the polyps.

Clusters of the coral can form large clumps.
Kusu Island, Dec 18

Pulau Semakau, Mar 05

Polyps can retract completely .
Corallites closely packed.

Polyps large often with long body.

Acoel flatworms
Pulau Semakau, Aug 11

Acoel flatworms
Beting Bronok, Jul 05

Acoel flatworms
Terumbu Pempang Tengah, May 11

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

Anemone corals on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

East Coast Park Big Splash, Jun 15

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

East Coast Park (B), Jun 21
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Pulau Senang, Jun 10

Pulau Senang, Aug 10

Pulau Biola, May 10

Pulau Sudong, Dec 09

Pulau Salu, Jun 10

Terumbu Salu, Jan 10

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his flickr.

Pulau Pawai, Dec 09

Pulau Pawai, Dec 09
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