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Last updated on April 16, 2014 at 14:14 EDT

Chalice Corals

Chalice Corals, are a family of stony corals in the Pectiniidae family. Members of this family are mostly colonial but at least one species, Echinomorpha nishihirai, is solitary. These corals are endemic to the Indian and Pacific oceans.

Pectiniids have a number of different forms but are basically streamlined and smooth. Polyps are large and brightly colored and resemble those of members of the Mussidae family of corals. The polyps are only extended at night. Tentacles are translucent, long and thin. Most species within this group also have sweeper tentacles armed with cnidocytes. These corals contain symbiotic algae.

Chalice corals are commonly sought after for the reef aquarium trade.

The World Register of Marine Species includes 6 genera in the Pectiniidae family: Echinomorpha, Echinophyllia, Mycedium, Oxypora, Pectinia, and Physophyllia. There are 33 known species.

Chalice Corals