Saturday, August 19, 2017


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Leptoria (Faviidae)

Welcome to the Leptoria 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: Platygyra.

Vital Statistics

  • 2 species
  • Coral Finder p. 8, 28c
  • COTW – Vol 3 p.202-205


Currently found in the Indo-Pacific.

ID Tips

Leptoria forms massive or encrusting colonies, often with lumpy protuberances.  It may be found on shallow reef slopes, although only one of the two species is found frequently.

The small corallites are hidden in narrow valleys bordered by neat, regular walls.  The walls are covered in uniform, evenly spaced septa that produce a zipper-like pattern.

Similar Genera

The Coral Finder lists Leptoria in one key group with Platygyra being the main source of confusion.

Similar genera to Leptoria (Coral Finder p8)

Leptoria can be confused with Platygyra but are easily separated by the v-shaped, narrow valleys of Leptoria. Platygyra tends to have more u-shaped valleys, furthermore, uniform septa are typical of Leptoria, whereas Platygyra has relatively ragged septa.


Similar genus: Platygyra


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.
  • 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., 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.
  • Mangubhai, S. (2009). Reproductive ecology of the scleractinian corals Echinopora gemmacea and Leptoria phrygia (Faviidae) on equatorial reefs in Kenya. Invertebrate Reproduction & Development, 53(2), 67-79.