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Searles Wood, 1844

Balanophyllia carinata (3)

Type species: Balanophyllia calyculus Searles Wood, 1844

Total number of species estimated: 56 (another 65 species known as fossils).

Characteristics: Corals azooxanthellate, solitary with a circular to elliptical mouth. Coralla small, rarely over 5 cm in height. Theca porous (synapticulothecate) and longitudinally costate, feeling sandy to the touch. Inner and upper septal edges smooth, the septa arranged in a Pourtalès plan, wherein the higher cycle septa bend toward and fuse with those of lower cycles. Columella usually prominent and spongy. Often brightly coloured: yellow, orange, brownish.

Ecology: Usually cryptic, often found beneath ledges and in caves.

Range: Paleocene to Recent: extant species cosmopolitan (except off continental Antarctica) at depths of 0-1150 m. Approximately 16 shallow?water species occur in the western Pacific, most of them occurring in Indonesian waters.

Key references: Veron, 2000.

Genus Balanophyllia