Stylophora pistillata (12)
Type species: Stylophora pistillata (Esper, 1797)
Total number of species estimated: 1
Characteristics: Corals zooxanthellate, branched with polyps based on calices that are immersed, slightly conical or with a hood (cap) (Veron and Pichon, 1976). Coenosteum in between calices covered by evenly distributed fine spines that are almost invisible to the naked eye. Colour predominantly brown or cream due to zooxanthellae; usually with the addition of purple or light green.
Ecology: Common on reef flats and slopes.
Range: Indo-West Pacific
Additional remarks: The branches vary highly in thickness. Gall crabs (Hapalocarcinus sp.) may modify the branch tips in such a way that they become club-shaped.
Key references: Veron and Pichon, 1976; Veron, 1986, 2000.