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Platygyra (Faviidae)

Welcome to the Platygyra 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: Goniastrea.

Vital Statistics

  • 10 species
  • Coral Finder p. 8
  • COTW – Vol 3 p.176-193


Found in the Indo-Pacific.

ID Tips

Platygyra forms massive mounds and encrusting colonies.  Environmental conditions are associated with morphological differences resulting in difficulties distinguishing between some species of Platygyra.

Corallites are arranged in long or short meandering valleys.  The arrangement of septa on the walls may form an irregular or neat appearance, although generally they are more ragged than other similar genera.

Similar Genera

The Coral Finder lists Platygyra in one key group with Goniastrea being a potential candidate for confusion.

Similar genera to Platygyra (Coral Finder p8)

Platygyra can be confused with Goniastrea but are easily separated by the paliform crown typical of Goniastrea. Platygyra does not possess paliform lobes and the corallites are less regular and neat.


Similar genus: Goniastrea


Taxonomic Changes

Coral taxonomy is a notoriously difficult subject and Platygyra identification is no exception.  Research by Miller & Babcock (1997) and Miller & Benzie (1997) suggests that morphological species, i.e. species differentiated on the basis of morphological characters are able to interbreed.  Furthermore genetic differences are far from clear cut between species.  These issues are not resolved as yet, but awareness of potential overlap is needed when moving forward to species level identification.

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.
  • Mangubhai, S., Souter, P., & Grahn, M. (2007). Phenotypic variation in the coral Platygyra daedalea in Kenya: morphometry and genetics. Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 345, 105-115.
  • Miller, K., & Babcock, R. (1997). Conflicting morphological and reproductive species boundaries in the coral genus Platygyra. Biological Bulletin, 192(1), 98-110.
  • Miller, K. J. (1994). Morphological variation in the coral genus Platygyra – Environmental influences and taxonomic implications. Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 110(1), 19-28.
  • Miller, K. J., & Benzie, J. A. H. (1997). No clear genetic distinction between morphological species within the coral genus Platygyra. Bulletin of Marine Science, 61(3), 907-917.
  • Ng, W. C., & Morton, B. (2003). Genetic structure of the scleractinian coral Platygyra sinensis in Hong Kong. Marine Biology, 143(5), 963-968.
  • 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.
  • Weber, J. N., & White, E. W. (1974). Activation energy for skeletal aragonite deposited by hermatypic coral Platygyra spp. Marine Biology, 26(4), 353-359.
  • 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

  • Bhagooli, R., & Hidaka, M. (2004). Photoinhibition, bleaching susceptibility and mortality in two scleractinian corals, Platygyra ryukyuensis and Stylophora pistillata, in response to thermal and light stresses. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology a-Molecular & Integrative Physiology, 137(3), 547-555.
  • 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.
  • Lapid, E. D., Wielgus, J., & Chadwick-Furman, N. E. (2004). Sweeper tentacles of the brain coral Platygyra daedalea: induced development and effects on competitors. Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 282, 161-171.
  • Mangubhai, S. (2007). Chelidonura punctata (Eliot, 1903) preys on acoel flatworms recruiting onto Platygyra daedalea (Ellis and Solander, 1786) in Kenya. Coral Reefs, 26(4), 1057-1057.
  • Mangubhai, S., & Harrison, P. L. (2008). Gametogenesis, spawning and fecundity of Platygyra daedalea (Scleractinia) on equatorial reefs in Kenya. Coral Reefs, 27(1), 117-122.
  • Shlesinger, Y., & Loya, Y. (1991). Larval development and survivorship in the corals Favia favus and Platygyra lamellina. Hydrobiologia, 216, 101-108.
  • Souter, P., & Grahn, M. (2008). Spatial genetic patterns in lagoonal, reef-slope and island populations of the coral Platygyra daedalea in Kenya and Tanzania. Coral Reefs, 27(2), 433-439.