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Phylum Cnidaria > Class Anthozoa > Subclass Zoantharia/Hexacorallia > Order Scleractinia > Family Poritidae
Pore coral
Porites sp.
Family Poritidae
updated May 13

Where seen? This large coral with tiny corallites and polyps is among the most commonly encountered hard corals on many of our shores, including our Northern shores.

Features:
Colony 10-20cm, sometimes much larger. Colonies are generally boulder shaped with a smooth surface or with smooth bumps or hillocks. But the colonies can also be encrusting, lobed and branching. The tiny corallites are shallow and don't stick out of the surface. The surface thus often appears smooth with many tiny pores. Polyps are very tiny (0.1-0.2cm) with short body columns and short tentacles that are usually only extended at night. To get rid of excessive sediments, the corals may produce slime that traps sediments. The slime layer is then shed like a skin. Colours seen include yellow, brown, green, blue, purplish and even pink. Usually the colony is of one uniform colour.

Pore coral colonies are long-lived and can grow very large. The colonies produced by these tiny polyps can be more than 5m across! They can grow rapidly in ideal conditions. They are usually found in shallow, sunlit places.

It's hard to distinguish the different species of pore corals without close examination. On this website, they are grouped into branching pore corals and boulder-shaped pore corals for convenience of display.

Status and threats: Some Porites species recorded for Singapore are listed as globally Vulnerable or 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.

St. John's Island, Aug 08


Tiny hexagonal corallites.

Tiny polyps.

Pulau Tekukor, May 10

Layer of slime peeling off.

Tanah Merah, Sep 10

Layer of slime peeling off.

Sisters Island, Jul 10

Diseased coral after coral bleaching.


Porites 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.

  Pore 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
.
  Boulder pore coral
Branching pore coral

  Family Poritidae*
Genus Porites
  Group 1: Forming large boulder-shaped (massive) colonies
Porites australiensis**
Porites lobata**
(Near Threatened)
Porites lutea**
Porites solida

Group 2: Forming small boulder-shaped (massive) colonies
Porites murrayensis
(Near Threatened)
Porites stephensoni
(Near Threatened)

Group 4: Forming composites of columns, flat sheets (laminae) and branches
Porites lichen
Porites vaughani

Group 5: Forming composites of flat sheets (laminae) and branches
Porites deformis**
(Near Threatened)
Porites monticulosa**
Porites rus

Group 6: Forming mainly branching colonies
Porites cylindrica
(Near Threatened)
Porites nigrescens
(Vulnerable)

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
  • Wee Y.C. and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore. National Council on the Environment. 163pp.
  • Ng, P. K. L. & Y. C. Wee, 1994. The Singapore Red Data Book: Threatened Plants and Animals of Singapore. The Nature Society (Singapore), Singapore. 343 pp.
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