Corals are monocentric, oval or circular, and are cylindrical with a base for attachment, or have a pointed base when free-living. Primary septa are thick and have extremely large, rounded or lobed teeth. Paliform lobes are usually well developed. Columellae are broad and compact. Tentacles are extended only at night. During the day the mantle is inflated with water and is translucent so that the toothed primary septo-costae are clearly seen. In conditions of low light the mantle may be over twice the diameter of the skeleton.
Usually mixtures of green or brown, but may be pink and sometimes other colours.
Protected reef environments and deep sandy substrates.
Taxonomic note: Acanthophyllia deshayesiana (Michelin, 1850) (the only species of Acanthophyllia Wells, 1937) is a synonym of Cynarina lacrymalis. Source reference: Veron (2000). Taxonomic references: Chevalier (1975), Veron and Pichon (1980). Additional identification guides: Veron (1986), Sheppard and Sheppard (1991), Nishihira and Veron (1995).
displaying probable distribution of species. Points indicate recorded sightings from OBIS.
Cynarina lacrymalis.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.This is a very distinctive species. The large white septo-costae can be seen through the polyp walls.Ed Lovell.