Wednesday, September 20, 2017


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Diploastrea (Faviidae)

Welcome to the Diploastrea 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.

Diploastrea provides a welcome relief when identifying members of the Faviidae family.  It contains one species, which is morphologically similar across the Indo-Pacific.  Sit back, relax and enjoy this coral because when you have seen it in the field just the once, you will be confident with its identification

Vital Statistics

  • 1 species
  • Coral Finder p. 11
  • COTW – Vol 3 p.230-231


Locally common in the Indo-Pacific.

ID Tips

Diploastrea forms mound colonies that may grow into massive shield-like structures covered in neat, uniform corallites.  Overall colony colour is generally a dull grey-brown to green.

The corallites are large (8-10mm) low polygonal cones.  The septa form distinct radiating ridges that start at the columella and run down the sides of the thick walls.

Similar Genera

The Coral Finder lists Diploastrea within one key group with other members of the Faviidae family.  Diploastrea’s distinctive corallites make it easy to differentiate from these corals.


Taxonomic Changes

Learning Resources

Coral Hub

  • Faviidae family page


Suggested Reading – Identification Tools

  • Chevalier, J. P. (1975). Les scleractiniaires de la Melanesie Francaise.  II Expedition Francaise sur les recifs coralliens de la Nouvelle-Caledonie. Paris: Singer-Polignac.
  • Huang, D. W., Meier, R., Todd, P. A., & Chou, L. M. (2009). More evidence for pervasive paraphyly in scleractinian corals: Systematic study of Southeast Asian Faviidae (Cnidaria; Scleractinia) based on molecular and morphological data. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 50(1), 102-116.
  • Lam, K. K. Y., Loo, A. H. B., Todd, P. A., Chew, F. T., & Chou, L. M. (2006). Existence of intra-colonial paralogues of the ribosomal internal transcribed spacer (ITS) impedes studies of intra-colonial genetic variation in the scleractinian coral Diploastrea heliopora (Lamark 1816). Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, 54(2), 485-489.
  • 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., & Wijsman-Best, M. (1977). Scleractinia of Eastern Australia.  Part 2, Families Faviidae, Trachyphyllidae. Australian Institute of Marine Science Monograph Series, III, 233.
  • Watanabe, T., Gagan, M. K., Correge, T., Scott-Gagan, H., Cowley, J., & Hantoro, W. S. (2003). Oxygen isotope systematics in Diploastrea heliopora: New coral archive of tropical paleoclimate. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta, 67(7), 1349-1358.
  • Wijsman-Best, M. (1972). Systematics and ecology of New Caldedonian Faviidae (Coelenterata Scleractinia). Bijdragen Dierkunde, 42, 1-90.
  • Wijsman-Best, M. (1980). Indo-pacific coral species belonging to the subfamily Montastreinae Vaughan and Wells, 1943 (Scleractiia, Coelenterata). Part II: The genera Cyphastrea, Leptastrea, Echinopora and Diploastrea. Zoologische Mededelingen, 55, 235-263.

Suggested Reading – Other Topics

  • Bagnato, S., Linsley, B. K., Howe, S. S., Wellington, G. M., & Salinger, J. (2004). Evaluating the use of the massive coral Diploastrea heliopora for paleoclimate reconstruction. Paleoceanography, 19(1).
  • Chen, C. L. A. (1999). Analysis of scleractinian distribution in Taiwan indicating a pattern congruent with sea surface temperatures and currents: Examples from Acropora and Faviidae corals. Zoological Studies, 38(2), 119-129.
  • Schuhmacher, H., Loch, W., & Loch, K. (2002). Post-bleaching growth reveals Diploastrea helianthus to be a coral methusalem. Coral Reefs, 21(4), 344-345.
  • Todd, P. A., Ladle, R. J., Lewin-Koh, N. J. I., & Chou, L. M. (2004). Genotype x environment interactions in transplanted clones of the massive corals Favia speciosa and Diploastrea heliopora. Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 271, 167-182.