831 species

Goniastrea australensis

(Haime and Milne Edwards, 1857)


Milne Edwards and Haime, 1848

Characters: Colonies are submassive, form solid plates or are encrusting. They are meandroid, with sinuous valleys. Columella centres and paliform lobes are well developed.

Colour: Very variable but usually a uniform dull green or brown or with walls and valley floors of contrasting dull or bright colours.

Similar Species: Goniastrea australensis is the only fully meandroid Goniastrea. Underwater, it may be difficult to distinguish from Platygyra lamellina, but skeletons are readily distinguished by their well developed columella centres and paliform lobes. Submeandroid colonies may resemble Goniastrea pectinata. See also Oulophyllia crispa.

Habitat: Shallow or clear water.

Abundance: Common, may be a dominant species of subtropical reefs.

Taxonomic Note: A species complex. Included in a new genus Paragoniastrea Huang, Benzoni and Budd, 2014 alongside both Favites russelli, and Goniastrea deformis (Huang, Benzoni, Fukami et al., 2014). The latter both have well-defined corallites whilst G. australensis commonly forms sinuous valleys with centres that are often ill-defined.

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