Welcome to the Favites 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 comparison with similar genera: subplocoid, submeandroid, or large corallites.
After the almost ubiquitous Acroporidae, the Faviidae is the most common family of scleractinian corals, with a massive 24 different genera. Favites is one of the more widespread members within the Indo-Pacific.
Much of what you read describing the cerioid and plocoid Faviidae provides exceptions, complications and general confusion. Below, a few generalised features of Favites 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.
- 14 species
- Coral Finder p. 13, 14, 15
- COTW – Vol 3 p.134-155
Widespread in the Indo-Pacific.
Favites forms massive or thick encrusting colonies. The wide range of environmental conditions which Favites inhabits produce a similarly large diversity in morphology, as a result a single species can vary significantly between locations.
(slide show with photos of different forms of favites)
The irregular corallites share walls and contain one mouth. Paliform lobes may be present in some species, but are indistinct. The septa are somewhat irregular and the teeth are fine to medium in size.
The Coral Finder lists Favites within one key group with other members of the Faviidae family. Acanthastrea may be an additional candidate for confusion.
Similar genera to subplocoid Favites (Coral Finder p14)
Confusion can occur where Favites tends towards sub-plocoid corallites, looking similar to Favia. 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: Favia
Identification issues may arise between Favites and Goniastrea where corallites are cerioid or sub-meandroid. 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: Goniastrea
Larger forms of Favites can be confused with Acanthastrea but are easily separated by the smaller septal teeth typical of Favites. Acanthastrea has distinctive fleshy polyps with spiky septa.
Large corallite Favites
Similar genus: Acanthastrea
- 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.
- 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. (1976). Biological results of the Snellius Expedition. XXVII Faviidae collected by the Snellius Expedition. II The genera Favites, Goniastrea, Platygyra, Oulophyllia, Leptoria, Hydnophora, and Caulastrea. Zoologische Mededelingen, 50, 45-63.
Suggested Reading – Other Topics
- 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.
- 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.
- Humes, A. G. (1979). Cyclopoid copepods (Lichomolgidae) associated with coral genus Favites in the Moluccas. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 66(2), 95-112.
- Imagawa, S., Nakano, Y., & Watanabe, T. (2004). Molecular analysis of a major soluble egg protein in the scleractinian coral Favites chinensis. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology B-Biochemistry & Molecular Biology, 137(1), 11-19.
- Kai, S., & Sakai, K. (2008). Effect of colony size and age on resource allocation between growth and reproduction in the corals Goniastrea aspera and Favites chinensis. Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 354, 133-139.
- Levy, Y., Miller, D. S., Friedman, G. M., & Noshkin, V. E. (1978). Analysis of alpha emitters in coral, Favites virens, from Bikini lagoon by solid state track detection. Health Physics, 34(3), 209-217.
- Nozawa, Y., & Harrison, P. L. (2005). Temporal settlement patterns of larvae of the broadcast spawning reef coral Favites chinensis and the broadcast spawning and brooding reef coral Goniastrea aspera from Okinawa, Japan. Coral Reefs, 24(2), 274-282.
- Strychar, K. B., Coates, M., & Sammarco, P. W. (2004). Loss of Symbiodinium from bleached Australian scleractinian corals (Acropora hyacinthus, Favites complanata and Porites solida). Marine and Freshwater Research, 55(2), 135-144.