Hard Corals; Scleractinia

Scleractinian Hard Corals are what most snorkellers and scuba divers understand as “corals”. They make up the solid structure of the reefs of Koh Phangan. Providing a fabulous variety of shapes and sizes of calcium carbonate exoskeletons.

Staghorn and Table corals from the genus Acropora, plus the Astreopora and Montipora hard corals. (3 Galleries)

Reef building hard corals - often with laminar or foliate structures.

Crater, Cup, Stony and Turbinaria Hard Corals. Many feature quite large flower-like corallum when feeding. (3 Galleries)

We used to call this Star Coral, as during the day its corallum are retracted and it looks like a massive network of small pinky-red stars.

Originally only bubbles - now starbursts as well! (2 Galleries)

Unlike other hard corals, they are not generally anchored to the substrate. (3 Galleries)

So called because some members of the family resemble oversized brains. This family used to be named Mussidae.

A newly created family - with quite a lot of ex-members of the now defunct Faviidae. (4 Galleries)

Identified by the presence of wart-like growths on their surface and a brush like appearance when feeding. Branching in structure.

2 apparently different reef forming hard corals. One with a massive structure and small corallum - the other relatively small but with greatly extended corallum. (2 Galleries)

Some individual species of hard coral that are not members of the larger families listed above.

Some nice reef views featuring a mixture of hard corals.