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Wells, 1966

Heliofungia actiniformis (14)

Type species: Fungia actiniformis Quoy and Gaimard, 1833

Total number of species estimated: 1

Description: Adult animals are free-living and monostomatous. Their outline varies from circular to oval; the coralla vary from flat to slightly arched. The corallum wall is solid and granulated. The septal margins are ornamented with lobate dentations. The sides of the dentations are covered by granulations which are radially arranged. The costal spines are laterally flattened with either a single row of granulations or several rows, each being oriented perpendicularly to the costal margin. The polyp is fleshy with thick, relatively long tentacles which give the animal an actinian-like appearance. The tentacles have knobbed tips (acrospheres).

Habitat: On reefs.

Range: Indo-West Pacific.

Additional remarks: Doderlein (1901: 355; 1902: 82) classified the single species of this genus as a member of the "Actiniformis -Gruppe" within Fungia. Wells (1966) established the group as the subgenus Fungia (Heliofungia ) after which Veron and Pichon (1979) raised it to genus level. Besides the skeleton, with its unique characters (e.g. the septo-costal ornamentations), the fleshy tissue is also different from that in other genera. The affinities of the genus are not clear.

Genus Heliofungia