Stylophora pistillata (10)
Type species: Seriatopora subulata Lamarck, 1816
Total number of species estimated: 2
Characteristics: Corals zooxanthellate. Branches thin, commonly anastomosing, with polyps arranged in longitudinal rows and tips that are either tapering (S. hystrix Dana, 1846) or blunt (S. caliendrum Ehrenberg, 1834), depending on the species (Veron and Pichon, 1976. Colour predominantly brown or cream due to zooxanthellae; usually with the addition of purple or light green.
Ecology: Very common on reef flats and upper slopes, occasionally in large patches.
Range: Indo-West Pacific
Additional remarks: Gall crabs (Hapalocarcinus sp.) may modify the branch tips in such a way that they resemble two hands held in opposite position, one against another.
Key references: Veron and Pichon, 1976; Veron, 1986, 2000.