Welcome to the Polyphyllia 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.
- 2 species
- Coral Finder p. 25
- COTW – Vol 2 p. 294-295
Found in the Indo-Pacific.
Polyphyllia form free-living, elongate or irregular-shaped colonies. The colonies are strongly domed in the centre, and the mouths are regularly spaced across the colony surface. The axial furrow is generally indistinct. Colonies may be found on reef slopes and may be locally abundant due to asexual reproduction via autotomy.
The septa and skeletal surface are hidden by short thin tentacles that are extended during the day producing a distinctive shaggy appearance. The arrangement of septa running down the upper surface and costae running along the lower surface are characteristic of the Fungiidae. Check out the Fungiidae training video for more information.
(slide show with photos of tentacles)
The Coral Finder lists Polyphyllia in one key group but the thin tentacles produce a distinctive appearance, therefore there is little chance of confusion with other genera.
- Fungiidae family page
- Fungiidae training video
Suggested Reading – Identification Tools
- Hoeksema, B. W. (1989). Taxonomy, Phylogeny and Biogeography of Mushroom Corals (Scleractinia: Fungiidae). Zoologische Verhandelingen, 254, 1-471.
- Hoeksema, B. W. (1993). Historical biogeography of Fungia (Pleuractis) spp (Scleractinia: Fungiidae), including a new species from the Seychelles. Zoologische Mededelingen, 67, 639-654.
- Hoeksema, B. W., & Dai, C. F. (1991). Scleractinia of Taiwan. 2. Family Fungiidae (including a new species). Bulletin of the Institute of Zoology Academia Sinica, 30(3), 203-228.
- Hoeksema, B. W., & Moka, W. (1989). Species assemblages and phenotypes of mushroom corals (Fungiidae) related to coral reef habitats in the Flores Sea. Netherlands Journal of Sea Research, 23(2), 149-160.
- Lamberts, A. E. (1984). The reef corals Lithactinia and Polyphyllia (Anthozoa, Scleractinia, Fungiidae) – a study of morphological, geographical, and statistical differences. Pacific Science, 38(1), 12-27.
- Scheer, G., & Pillai, C. S. G. (1974). Report on the Scleractinia from the Nicobar Islands. Stuttgart: Zoologica.
- 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. (1980). Scleractinia of Eastern Australia. Part 3, Families Agaraciidae, Siderastreidae, Fungiidae, Oculinidae, Merulinidae, Mussidae, Pectiniidae, Carophylliidae, Dendrophylliidae. Australian Institute of Marine Science Monograph Series, IV, 471.
- Wells, J. W. (1966). Evolutionary development of the scleractinian family Fungiidae. Paper presented at the Symposium of the Zoological Society of London.
Suggested Reading – Other Topics
- Chadwickfurman, N., & Loya, Y. (1992). Migration, habitat use, and competition among mobile corals (Scleractinia, Fungiidae) in the Gulf of Eilat, Red Sea. Marine Biology, 114(4), 617-623.
- Goffredo, S., & Chadwick-Furman, N. E. (2000). Abundance and distribution of mushroom corals (Scleractinia : Fungiidae) on a coral reef at Eilat, northern Red Sea. Bulletin of Marine Science, 66(1), 241-254.
- Goffredo, S., & Chadwick-Furman, N. E. (2003). Comparative demography of mushroom corals (Scleractinia : Fungiidae) at Eilat, northern Red Sea. Marine Biology, 142(3), 411-418.
- Hoeksema, B. W. (1991). Control of bleaching in mushroom coral populations (Scleractinia, Fungiidae) in the Java Sea – Stress tolerance and interference by life history strategy. Marine Ecology-Progress Series, 74(2-3), 225-237.
- Hoeksema, B. W. (1991). Evolution of body size in mushroom corals (Scleractinia, Fungiidae) and its ecomorphological consequences. Netherlands Journal of Zoology, 41(2-3), 112-129.
- Schuhmacher, H. (1979). Experiments on adaptations to sedimentation and substrate in Fungiid corals (Scleractinia, Fungiidae). Internationale Revue Der Gesamten Hydrobiologie, 64(2), 207-243.
- Sweeney, B. M. (1976). Circadian rhythms in corals, particularly Fungiidae. Biological Bulletin, 151(1), 236-246.