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 Corals of the Family Coscinaraeidae  


By Bob Fenner


Genus Coscinaraea Milne Edwards & Haime 1848. /WA Corals: massive, columnar or flat plates • corallites can be aligned between raised ridges that occur parallel to the colony margin • well developed columellae • common on temperate reefs • similar to Leptoseris

Coscinaraea sp.,


Coscinaraea columna, (Dana 1846). /COTW " Colonies are encrusting or massive, sometimes hillocky. Columellae are compacted pinnules set well below
the septo-costae. Septo-costae are not heavily granulated.

Colour: Usually bright greenish-yellow, also greys and browns.

Similar Species: Coscinaraea exesa, which has a columnar growth-form, and corallites which are shallower,
larger, and have granulated septo-costae.

Habitat: Shallow reef environments.

Abundance: Sometimes common.


Coscinaraea monile (Forskal 1775), colonies encrusting or dome-shaped. calices monocentric, to 7mm. in diameter. Septa are very even, finely serrated. /COTW:

Characters: Colonies are usually encrusting or dome-shaped. Calices are monocentric, up to 7 millimetres diameter, or form short valleys. Septa are even and finely serrated, giving colonies a smooth surface.

Colour: Usually uniformly grey, sometimes tan, brown, or mottled colours.

Similar Species: Distinctive and unlike other Coscinaraea.

Habitat: Most reef environments.

Abundance: Common in the western Indian Ocean, uncommon in the central Indo-Pacific.

Sinai 2019; a vertical of a wave-impacted colony and one more protected from such energy.   

Coscinaraea (Cycloseris) wellsi Veron & Pichon 1980. /COTW:

Characters: Colonies are thin, often overlapping laminae, with lobed margins. Corallites are irregularly distributed with deep seated columellae and thick, granulated septo-costae.

Colour: Green, brown or red-brown, with white perimeters.

Similar Species: Psammocora explanulata, which has smaller corallites and petaloid septo-costae. See also Leptoseris scabra.

Habitat: Usually found encrusting vertical or overhung faces.

Abundance: Uncommon.

Taxonomic Note: Placed in genus Cycloseris by Benzoni, Arrigoni, Stefani et al. (2012) based mainly on genetic evidence. It is retained here as a Coscinaraea because it does not match the distinctive genus-level characters of Cycloseris, which represent predominantly solitary, unattached mushroom corals.

Wakatobi, Indo. 2006

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