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Link, 1807

Porites cylindrica (6)

Type species: Porites polymorphus Link, 1807 [= P. porites (Pallas, 1766)]

Total number of species estimated: 100

Characteristics: Corals zooxanthellate; corals of most species are massive, some of which may form very large boulders, others consisting of upward directed branches or columns with an encrusting or foliaceous base. Polyps (corallites) small (less than 2 mm), immersed and densely packed. Colour predominantly cream, yellow, brown or purple.

Ecology: Common on reef flats and upper slopes.

Range: Circumtropical (Indo-Pacific, Atlantic).

Additional remarks: Despite their small polyps, some Porites species form the largest massive coral colonies known.

Key references: Veron and Pichon, 1982; Veron, 1986, 2000.

Genus Porites