Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory


Regional Maps

Order SCLERACTINIA Bourne, 1900


Scleractinia, or “Hard corals”, are the builders of coral reefs. Solitary or colonial, scleractinian corals have an exoskeleton composed of calcium carbonate called aragonite. Reef building hard corals are diverse, abundant and morphologically variable with up to 1200 species occurring in the Indo-Pacific region. Reef-building corals contain symbiotic algae called zooxanthellae that enhance the growth capacity of the coral and thus contribute to the development of coral reefs. Their colonies provide vital structure to the reef, providing refuges and surfaces for attachment for many of the organisms associated with coral reefs. Deepwater corals are usually solitary, formed by a single polyp, but they may occur in dense aggregations.
Trade in all hard corals is controlled by the Convention for International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
31-May-2018 SCLERACTINIA Bourne, 1900 24-May-2018 MODIFIED Dr Zoe Richards
05-Aug-2022 13-Aug-2013 MOVED
13-Jul-2010 MODIFIED