Pavona cactus (11)
Type species: Pavona cristata (Ellis and Solander, 1786)
Total number of species estimated: 8
Characteristics: Corals zooxanthellate; encrusting to foliaceous, massive or columnar. Upright laminae with polyps at both sides (bifacial). Polyps (corallites) usually without distinct walls although ridges may be present, larger than 3 mm in diameter, shallow, with columella consisting of fused trabeculae (Veron and Pichon, 1979). Colour cream, light to dark brown.
Ecology: Most common on reef slopes.
Range: Tropical Indo-Pacific.
Additional remarks: The distinction between foliaceous Pavona and Leptoseris is not clear.
Key references: Veron and Pichon, 1979; Veron, 1986, 2000.