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Welcome to the Favia 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 identify a corallite structure similar to what you saw underwater. Then choose one of the following links for further information: plocoid corallites, or subplocoid corallites.
After the almost ubiquitous Acroporidae, the Faviidae is the most common family of scleractinian corals, with a massive 24 different genera. Favia is particularly widespread in both the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific.
Much of what you will read describing the cerioid and plocoid Faviidae provides exceptions, complications and general confusion. Below, a few generalised features of Favia are provided, but once you have read this entry we suggest that you head straight to the Learning Groups page where further descriptions and plenty of clear photos will set you well on your way to untangling the initial difficulties in identifying genera within the Faviidae. Links for the Learning Groups are provided in the Learning Resources section below.
- 22 species
- Coral Finder p. 10, 11, 14c, 15c, 28c
- COTW – Vol 3 p.100-131
Very widespread in the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific.
Favia forms massive or thick encrusting colonies. The wide range of environmental conditions which Favia inhabits produce a similarly large diversity in morphology, as a result a single species of Favia can vary significantly between locations.
(slide show of photos showing different forms of Favia)
The corallites have separate walls, each containing one mouth. These corallites may be quite irregular and generally reproduce via intra-tentacular budding. The septa and costae are well developed and covered by fine teeth.
The Coral Finder lists Favia within one key group with other members of the Faviidae family.
Similar genera to plocoid Favia (Coral Finder p10-11)
Identification issues may arise between Favia, Montastrea, and Barabattoia where corallites are clearly plocoid. The Cerioid/Plocoid Learning Groups and Asexual Reproduction pages provide detailed descriptions and clear photos to assist in untangling any initial difficulties in identifying these genera. Links for the Learning Groups and Asexual Reproduction articles are provided in the Learning Resources section below.
Similar genus: Montastrea
Similar genus: Barabattoia
Further problems can occur where Favia tends towards cerioid corallites; looking similar to Favites. The Cerioid/Plocoid Learning Groups and Asexual Reproduction pages provide detailed descriptions and clear photos to assist in untangling any initial difficulties in identifying these genera. Links for the Learning Groups and Asexual Reproduction articles are provided in the Learning Resources section below.
Similar genus: Favites
- Faviidae family page
- Cerioid/Plocoid Learning group
- Asexual Reproduction
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.
- 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.
- Todd, P. A., Sanderson, P. G., & Chou, L. M. (2001). Morphological variation in the polyps of the scleractinian coral Favia speciosa (Dana) around Singapore. Hydrobiologia, 444(1-3), 227-235.
- 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. (2002). New species described in ‘Corals of the World’: 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.
- Wijsman-Best, M. (1972). Systematics and ecology of New Caldedonian Faviidae (Coelenterata Scleractinia). Bijdragen Dierkunde, 42, 1-90.
- Wijsman-Best, M. (1974). Biological results of the Snellius Expedition. XXV Faviidae collected by the Snellius Expedition. I The genus Favia. Zoologische Mededelingen, 48, 249-261.
Suggested Reading – Identification Tools
- Amaral, F. D. (1992). Sobre Favia leptophylla Verrill, 1868 (Cnidaria, Scleractinia). Iheringia. Série Zoologia, 73, 117-118.
- Caras, T., Bachar, A., & Pasternak, Z. (2008). Morphological variation in the oral disc of the scleractinian coral Favia speciosa (Dana) at Indonesia. Computational Biology and Chemistry, 32(5), 345-348.
- Chakraborty, S., & Ramesh, R. (1998). Stable isotope variations in a coral (Favia speciosa) from the Gulf of Kutch during 1948-1989 AD: Environmental implications. Proceedings of the Indian Academy of Sciences-Earth and Planetary Sciences, 107(4), 331-341.
- 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.
- de Beer, D., Kuhl, M., Stambler, N., & Vaki, L. (2000). A microsensor study of light enhanced Ca2+ uptake and photosynthesis in the reef-building hermatypic coral Favia sp. Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 194, 75-85.
- Halldal, P. (1968). Photosynthetic capacities and photosynthetic action spectra of endozoic algae of massive coral Favia. Biological Bulletin, 134(3), 411-+.
- Humes, A. G. (1974). Cyclopoid copepods associated with coral genera Favia, Favites, Favites, Platygyra, and Merulina in New Caledonia. Pacific Science, 28(4), 383-399.
- Jeffrey, S. W. (1968). Pigment composition of Siphonales algae in brain coral Favia. Biological Bulletin, 135(1), 141-&.
- Levy, O., Achituv, Y., Yacobi, Y. Z., Stambler, N., & Dubinsky, Z. (2006). The impact of spectral composition and light periodicity on the activity of two antioxidant enzymes (SOD and CAT) in the coral Favia favus. Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 328(1), 35-46.
- Levy, O., Mizrahi, L., Chadwick-Furman, N. E., & Achituv, Y. (2001). Factors controlling the expansion behavior of Favia favus (Cnidaria : Scleractinia): Effects of light, flow, and planktonic prey. Biological Bulletin, 200(2), 118-126.
- Oren, U., Benayahu, Y., & Loya, Y. (1997). Effect of lesion size and shape on regeneration of the Red Sea coral Favia favus. Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 146(1-3), 101-107.
- Oren, U., Benayahu, Y., Lubinevsky, H., & Loya, Y. (2001). Colony integration during regeneration in the stony coral Favia favus. Ecology, 82(3), 802-813.
- Shibata, K., & Haxo, F. T. (1969). Light transmission and spectral distribution through epi- and endozoic algal layers in brain coral, Favia. Biological Bulletin, 136(3), 461-&.
- Shlesinger, Y., & Loya, Y. (1991). Larval development and survivorship in the corals Favia favus and Platygyra lamellina. Hydrobiologia, 216, 101-108.
- 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.