corallimorphs text index | photo index
Phylum Cnidaria > Class Anthozoa > Subclass Zoantharia/Hexacorallia > Order Corallimorpharia
Carpet corallimorph
Rhodactis indosinensis
Family Discosomidae
updated Nov 2019

Where seen? This shaggy disk-shaped animal is commonly encountered on many of our Southern shores, on coral rubble.

Features: Each polyp about 2-4cm in diameter. Sometimes seen in large numbers, carpeting an area of 30-50cm square.

Sisters Islands, Dec 03

Underside smooth and brown,
edge fringed with short tentacles.

Upturned mouth.
Each polyp has lots of short, thin tentacles that densely cover the oral disk, so that the entire group of animals appears to be a living shaggy carpet. Tentacles with tiny rounded tip, sometimes white or other bright colour. In some, each tentacle appears to be branched at the tips. The small upturned mouth is usually hidden by the tentacles. The edge of the oral disk is fringed with short tentacles. The oral disk may have fine radiating lines in a different colour.

The underside is smooth and brown. The animal can tuck its oral disk into the body column when it is exposed out of water. Seen in a wide range of colours: in shades of beige, pink, orange to green, blue and purple.

A study found that Rhodactis indosinensis can also look like White-tip corallimorphs.

Pulau Hantu, Jul 07

Each tentacle appears to be
branched at the tips.

Sisters Island, May 12

Can retract into the body column.

Pulau Semakau, May 08

Tips rounded often white.

Terumbu Semakau, Jun 12

Unidentifed purple strings: eggs?

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

Carpet corallimorphs on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

Terumbu Berkas, Jan 10

Beting Bemban Besar, Apr 10
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.

Terumbu Semakau, May 10
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.



  • Ren Min Oh, Mei Lin Neo, Nicholas Wei Liang Yap, Sudhanshi Sanjeev Jain, Ria Tan, Chaolun Allen Chen and Danwei Huang Citizen science meets integrated taxonomy to uncover the diversity and distribution of Corallimorpharia in Singapore, The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Volume 67, Pp. 306-321.
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