Saturday, August 19, 2017


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Cynarina (Mussidae)

Welcome to the Cynarina 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.  The nature of this genus is highly distinctive, which means that it is unlikely to confuse it with other members of the group.

Vital Statistics

  • 1 species
  • Coral Finder p. 26, 27c
  • COTW – Vol 3 p.82-83


Found in the Indo-Pacific.

ID Tips

Cynarina are solitary corals, which may be attached or free-living.  They are generally found in sheltered areas and are uncommon.

Cynarina are highly distinctive due to the bright colours and the translucent tissue which expands into bubbles during the day.  The septa are large, have defined teeth, and can be clearly seen though the translucent tissue.

The toothed septa are common to all members of the Mussidae.

(slide show with photos of toothed septa seen through translucent tissue)

Similar Genera

The Coral Finder lists Cynarina in one key group (solitary, isolated or free-living corals, Coral Finder p.26), but the highly distinctive nature of this genus means that it is easily differentiated from other members of the group.


Taxonomic Changes

Learning Resources

Coral Hub

  • Mussidae family page


Suggested Reading – Identification Tools

  • Budd, A. F., & Stolarski, J. (2009). Searching for new morphological characters in the systematics of scleractinian reef corals: comparison of septal teeth and granules between Atlantic and Pacific Mussidae. Acta Zoologica, 90(2), 142-165.
  • Chevalier, J. P. (1975). Les scleractiniaires de la Melanesie Francaise.  II Expedition Francaise sur les recifs coralliens de la Nouvelle-Caledonie. Paris: Singer-Polignac.
  • 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