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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

Physical Description

F.fungites are solitary, free living corals  reaching 280mm in diameter (Gilmour, 2002b). Each individual consists of one polyp whereas most corals are colonial and made up of many polyps. They are usually brown in coloration, often with a mottled white appearance due to bleaching. Polyps are approximately circular in shape with one large mouth located in the center of the polyp. Polyps are usually flat, but can be distorted due to growing conditions, with irregular ridges forming when the coral can no longer grow horizontally. These irregularities were relatively common in the Heron Island population. Polyps can become damaged, leaving white scars on the dorsal surface.

Polyps extend tentacular lobes while feeding (Erhardt & Knop, 2005). Thus this is usually at night, although polyps can be found with tentacles extended during the day. Tentacles are retracted with disturbances such as sedimentation or handling. Septal teeth are triangular with well defined ribs and septal spines are tall, smooth and conical (AIMS, 2011).

F.fungites can be easily mistaken for another Fungid on Heron Island, Fungia scutaria. This species differs from F.fungites by being oval and slightly curved in the centre, robust septae and the tentacles are slit shaped and transparent or white. F.scutaria is also thicker than F.fungites (AIMS, 2011a, AIMS 2011b).


Additional resources for coral identification:

  • Erjardt H & Knop D. 2005. Corals Indo-Pacific Field Guide, 1st edn, IKAN, Frankfurt, Germany

Additional resources for F.fungites identification:

Additional resources for F.scutaria identification:



(2 objects, created 5/6/2011)

Album: This is a private album that is not visible to anonymous users Great Barrier Reef Invertebrates



Album: 2012

Album: 2011