831 species

Favia fragum

(Esper, 1793)


Oken, 1815

Characters: Colonies are small (usually less than 50 mm across) and hemispherical to encrusting. Corallites have very variable shapes ranging from immersed to conical (plocoid) to tubular (subphaceloid) and may be circular with one mouth, to elongate with many mouths. Encrusting colonies in intertidal habitats may be submeandroid. Spherical colonies with unrestricted growing space commonly develop tubular corallites. Corallites or valleys are seldom more than 5 millimetres across. Whatever the corallite shape, the walls are neatly rounded. Septo-costae are exsert and evenly spaced.

Colour: Usually tan to light orange-brown with pale green tentacles. Walls and calices may have contrasting colours.

Similar Species: None.

Habitat: Shallow rock pools and shallow reef environments.

Abundance: Common.

Taxonomic Note: This species is possibly a Dichocoenia but requires detailed taxonomic study to confirm. It is unlikely to belong to the well-established Indo-Pacific genus Favia. There are both nomenclatorial and taxonomic issues associated with the species. It was erroneously given type species status for Favia by subsequent designation of Verrill (1901). The mistake has been known since the time of Vaughan, see 'The potential of type species to destabilise the taxonomy of zooxanthellate Scleractinia' (Veron, 2015) and 'Website policy' for our treatment of widespread destabilisation based entirely on historical error.

Taxonomic References: Roos (1971); Zlatarski and Estalella (1982); Veron (2000a);

Identification Guides: Humann (2002);

COTW History since Veron (2000a)
  • Family: All families are currently under review
  • Genus/species: No change