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

Family Poritidae
updated May 13

Where seen? These hard corals are among those commonly seen on many of our shores. They are more commonly seen on our Southern shores.

Features: Colonies (10-15cm) boulder-shaped or form short fat columns with rounded tops. The corallites are small to tiny (0.2-0.5cm) circular or polygonal, packed close to one another. The skeleton is porous. Some have polyps with long bodies and long tentacles. In these, with the polyps extended, the skeleton is hidden and the entire colony is often mistaken for a sea anemone. Others have polyps with short bodies and tentacles, yet others have tiny polyps. Polyps have 24 tentacles and can retract completely into the skeleton.

It's hard to distinguish the different species without close examination. On this website, they are grouped into anemone corals (with long polyps) and small goniopora corals (with tiny polyps) for convenience of display.

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

Anemone coral babies: Goniopora corals may reproduce by producing balls of polyps.

Human uses: Goniopora corals do poorly in captivity because they need lots of plankton, especially plant plankton. Those kept in aquariums usually die a slow death of starvation.

Status and threats: Some Goniopora species recorded in Singapore are listed as globally Near Threatened by 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 populations.

Circular corallites.


With tiny acoel flatworms.



With acoel flatworm.

Larger polyps of Anemone coral compared with smaller Small goniopora coral.


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

Goniopora species recorded for Singapore
from 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 **the species found on many shores in Danwei's paper.
in red are those listed as threatened on the IUCN global list.

*Groups based on in Veron, Jen. 2000. Corals of the World.

  Goniopora corals seen awaiting identification
Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of display
.
  Anemone corals
Small goniopora corals

  Family Poritidae*
Genus Goniopora
  Group 1: Boulder-shaped (massive) with large corallites (more than 5mm in diameter)
Goniopora djiboutiensis
Goniopora pendulus
Goniopora stokesi
(Near Threatened)

Group 2: Branching or column-shaped (columnar) with large corallites (more than 5mm in diameter)
Goniopora columna
** (Near Threatened)
Goniopora lobata** (Near Threatened)

Group 3: Encrusting
Goniopora somaliensis

Group 5: Branching or column-shaped (columnar) with medium corallites (3-5mm in diameter)
Goniopora eclipsensis
Goniopora pandoraensis

Group 6: With small corallites (less than 3mm in diameter)
Goniopora fruticosa
Goniopora stutchburyi

Links

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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