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You are here:   OldClasses > 2012 > Fungia fungites | Ben Murphy




Fungia fungites (Linnaeus, 1758)                                                

Common Mushroom Coral

Ben Murphy (2012)




Fact Sheet



Physical Description


Life History & Behaviour

Anatomy & Physiology

Evolution & Systematics

Biogeographic Distribution

Conservation & Threats

References & Links


Fungia fungites is a free living scleractinian coral of the Fungiidae family (Gilmour, 2002b).  This life histroy is in vast comparison to the colonial nature of the majority of other corals (Rupert et al, 2004). These circular and dorso-ventrally flattened corals live in shallow reef areas throughout the Indo-Pacific (Hoeksema & Yeemin, 2011). These habitats are known for high rates of sedimentation (Gilmour, 2002b). The solitary corals have met this environmental stressor with a multitude of mechanisms for sediment removal (Chadwick-Furman & Loya, 1992). Experimentation was undertaken to better understand these mechanisms and to determine if there were size related differences in a polyps ability to rid itself of sediment. Results were not significant, although the data has definite trends. With the smaller corals having a faster time to recovery when compared to larger corals. This is in direct comparison to findings by Gilmour (2002b), who demonstrated that larger corals survived better under high sedimentation rates. The differing results are likely due to the different time frames for each experiment. Over my short duration experiments the corals were able to use the energetically expensive mechanism of cilliary action to remove the sediment (Stafford-Smith,1993). Whereas in Gilmour's longer duration experiment the corals were unable to use cilliary action due to the energetic cost of the mechanism.

Further, an interesting observation was made while experimenting. The F.fungites were observed to be ingesting some of the sediment placed on their dorsal surface. I was later able to capture this on film, but was unable to prove this definitely with further experimentation. Alas, this may potentially be a new mechanism for sediment removal withing the Fungiids.


               A healthy F.fungites specimen.


 A microscope photo at 4X magnification, into the mouth of a F.fungites exposing mesenterail filaments



(48 objects, created 10/11/2012)

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