Wednesday, September 20, 2017


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Coscinaraea (Siderastreidae)

Welcome to the Coscinaraea genus landing page. In this section, you will find general information about this genus and tips on how to identify it. If you are looking to confirm an observation made with the Coral Finder, use the image browser below to verify what you saw underwater. Then click on the following link for further comparison with a similar genus: Psammocora.

Vital Statistics

  • 8 species
  • Coral Finder p. 7, 12, 21, 22c, 28c
  • COTW – Vol 2 p. 158-167


Found in the Indo-Pacific.

ID Tips

Colonies of Coscinaraea vary widely in growth form: massive or thick encrusting, columnar, hillocky, or meandering.  Coscinaraea may be found across reef zones and different species vary from common to rare.

The corallites are 1-4mm in size, are arranged in short valleys, have indistinct walls and the septocostae flow between corallites.  The colony surface is granular and looks rough underwater.

The flowing septocostae, poorly defined walls and granular surface texture are characteristics of the Siderastreidae.

(slide show with photos of small corallites and granular surface)

Similar Genera

The Coral Finder lists Coscinaraea in three key groups but Psammocora is the main source of confusion.

Similar genera to Coscinaraea (Coral Finder p7, 12 & 21)

Coscinaraea can be confused with Psammocora, but they are easily separated by the larger corallites characteristic of Coscinaraea. Psammocora has smaller, indistinct corallites and more prominent primary septocostae.


Similar genus: Psammacora


Taxonomic Changes

Learning Resources

Coral Hub

  • Siderastreidae family page


Suggested Reading – Identification Tools

  • Davie, P. J., & Phillips, J. A. (2009). 13th International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay, Queensland. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum, 54(2), 1-118.
  • Veron, J. E. N. (1985). Corals of Australia and the Indo-Pacific. Sydney: Angus and Robertson.
  • Veron, J. E. N. (2000). Corals of the World. Melbourne: Australian Institute of Marine Science.
  • Veron, J. E. N., & Pichon, M. (1980). Scleractinia of Eastern Australia.  Part 3, Families Agaraciidae, Siderastreidae, Fungiidae, Oculinidae, Merulinidae, Mussidae, Pectiniidae, Carophylliidae, Dendrophylliidae. Australian Institute of Marine Science Monograph Series, IV, 471.

Suggested Reading – Other Topics