Mushroom corals: Solitary corals of the Fungiidae family

On Apr 3, 2013

by B. N. Sullivan

Do the pictures on this web page help remind you of mushrooms?  The corals proven Right here fit in with the Fungiidae loved ones.  Note that the loved ones title has the Exact same term underlying as the British term 'fungus', and these corals are recognized by the typical title Mushroom Corals.

Although the appear of these corals might appear like the bottom of a mushroom cap, the similarity halts there.  These are stony corals; they are not soft.

While most difficult barrier varieties reside as hives of  polyps that combination and type calcareous structures, most varieties of corals in the Fungiidae loved ones reside as one corals Instead of as hives.  In accessory for becoming one, most of the corals in this loved ones are free-living -- that is, they are not connected to the substrate.

The pictures on this web page display two types of one, free-living corals from the Fungiidae loved ones.  Both of these are Indo-Pacific varieties, dispersed over the area from the red-colored Ocean in the west, to the island destinations of the main Pacific.  Both of the corals proven Right here had been captured pics of in Hawaii.

The picture close to the surface of this web page is Fungia scutaria, the most typical mushroom barrier in Hawaii waters.  F. scutaria also is the biggest of the mushroom corals present in Hawaii.  It usually develops into an rectangular or oblong type that can achieve a size about 7 In.(18 cm) in length, Even though most of the people we have observed are about fifty percent that size.

The 2nd picture exhibits Cycloseris vaughani, a smaller sized mushroom barrier varieties.  Cycloseris corals are much more round or discoid in type.  Adults of this varieties develop to a size about two In.(5 cm).

Both of these varieties start the post-larval phase of their life connected to the substrate by a originate-like structure.  As the juveniles older and undertake their grownup type, the originate progressively dissolves, and they turn out to be free-living adults.

Mushroom corals tend to be present in exotic locations close to the foundation of appears of saltwater-building corals, and on boulders inclines at  the external sides of fringing reefs.  They are found less often in short locations exactly where they would be susceptible to becoming tumbled about by surf and surge.  They choose much more protected environments.

Mushroom corals are recognized to feast upon plankton and the metabolic by-products of the union plankton that reside in their tissues, but a group of Israeli researchers performing a saltwater study in the beach of Aqaba (red-colored Ocean) lately observed mushroom corals giving on -- of all issues -- rather big jellyfish!  They recorded the varieties Fungia scruposa giving on a Celestial satellite Jello (Aurelia aurita). You can Find out about this Incredible breakthrough in this post (with pictures) authored by the BBC:  Predatory barrier consumes jellyfish.

See also: Alamaru, A, et aussi al. (2009). Opportunistic giving by the fungiid barrier Fungia scruposa on the Celestial satellite jellyfish Aurelia aurita. barrier Reefs. DOI: 10.1007/s00338-009-0507-7