Characters: Colonies are branching, consisting of anastomosing blunt-ended, non-tapering branches. Corallites are immersed, circular, with blunt style-like columellae and two unequal cycles of septa that do not fuse with the columella. The coenosteum is covered by fine spinules and may also have conspicuous styles. Tentacles are sometimes extended during the day.
Colour: Cream or pinkish-brown.
Similar Species: Palauastrea is most readily confused underwater with the much more abundant Porites cylindrica which may have exactly the same colony shape. Corallites of Palauastrea appear star-like on close inspection. They resemble those of Stylocoeniella without the coenosteum styles, but these genera are readily distinguished by their different growth-forms. See also Madracis mirabilis.
Habitat: Restricted to turbid water and sandy substrates in Australia but found on upper reef slopes in equatorial countries.
Abundance: Uncommon in Australia, sometimes common in equatorial regions.
Taxonomic Note: The type species of Palauastrea Yabe and Sugiyama, 1941. A distinct species.