Related FAQs: Oculinids, Stony/True Coral, Coral System Set-Up, Coral System Lighting, Stony Coral Identification, Stony Coral Selection, Coral Placement, Foods/Feeding/Nutrition, Disease/Health, Propagation, Growing Reef Corals, Stony Coral Behavior,
Related Articles: Large
Polyp Stony Corals, Stony or
True Corals, Order Scleractinia, Dyed
/The Best Livestock For Your Reef Aquarium:
Galaxy Corals, Family
Galaxea fascicularis, Red Sea
This distinctive family (erected by Gray in 1847) is characterized
by its corallites being composed of walls of solid tubes connected by
smooth skeleton (coenosteum). Polyp partitions (septa) are very exsert
(pronouncedly outward extending). The oculinids include zooxanthellate
and azooxanthellate members.
Occur in the Indo-Pacific; Red Sea, eastern Africa out to the
mid-Pacific, Mediterranean, the west African Coast and the tropical
Species of Interest/Use to Aquarists:
There are a few azooxanthellate genera of oculinids as mentioned
above, but these very rarely make their way into the trade. Almost
exclusively encountered are the beautiful Galaxy Corals, genus
Genus Galaxea, Oken 1815. Galaxy, Crystal, Starry, Brittle
Coral. A gorgeous species group, whose skeletons are unfortunately
easily broken due to their flamboyant architecture. Dick Perrin,
Tropicorium has had tremendous success at culturing forms of this
genus/species whose colonies are more columnar. These captive
propagated (frags) individuals are far more consistently easy to care
The images in this table are
linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed"
images to go to the larger size.
|Galaxea astreata Lamarck 1816. Generally
smaller corallites than G. fascicularis (3-5 versus 10
millimeter diameter), an important characteristic as these are the
two common species of this genus and their extensive ranges overlap
greatly. Tentacles usually only out at night. A giant colony in
Bunaken, Indo. at right, below in Cebu, P.I., and another in N.
|Galaxea fascicularis Linnaeus 1767).
Captive colonies are ball-shaped, in the wild more like low-lying
cushions that may extend meters over the bottom. Corallites
well-separated with blade-like septa that may rise more than a cm.
above the corallite wall. Occur in grays, greens and browns.
Transparent tentacles out during the day, generally with
contrasting colored tips. Below first row: open and closed (at
night) in Fiji, and in the Red Sea. Second row, pix in N.
The images in this table are linked
to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images
to go to the larger size.
A strong statement must be made re spacing
these colonies from other sessile invertebrates. Their stinging
sweeper tentacles are long and deliver a real wallop to animals
that can't move away. Oculinids are near the topper-most of
the winning by stinging scale!
Detail of a wary Clownfish, Galaxea sweepers.
Borneman, Eric H. 2001. Aquarium Corals; Selection, Husbandry and
Natural History. Microcosm-TFH NJ, USA. 464 pp.
Fossa, Svein A. & Alf Jacob Nilsen. 1998 (1st ed.). The Modern
Coral Reef Aquarium, v.2 (Cnidarians). Bergit Schmettkamp Verlag,
Borhheim, Germany. 479pp.
Hoover, John. 1998. Hawai'i's Sea Creatures. A Guide to
Hawai'i's Marine Invertebrates. Mutual Publishing, Honolulu HI.
Humann, Paul. 1993. Reef Coral Identification; Florida, Caribbean,
Bahamas. New World Publications, Inc. Jacksonville, FL.
Veron, J.E.N. 1986. Corals of Australia and the Indo-Pacific. U. of
HI press, Honolulu. 644 pp.