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Galaxea fascicularis

(Linnaeus, 1767)

Small colonies are cushion-shaped or low domes or are irregular. Large colonies, which frequently exceed 5 metres across, are columnar or massive. Corallites are of mixed sizes, usually less than 10 millimetres diameter with numerous septa reaching the corallite centre. Tentacles are usually extended during the day.

Colour: Usually green, grey, red or brown, commonly with tentacles and septa of contrasting colours. Tentacles often have conspicuous white tips.

Habitat: Reef environments protected from strong wave action.

Abundance: Common in a wide range of habitats and may be a dominant species on inshore fringing reefs.

Similar species: Galaxea cryptoramosa

Taxonomic note: Source reference: Veron (2000). Taxonomic reference: Veron and Pichon (1980). Additional identification guides: Veron (1986), Sheppard and Sheppard (1991), Nishihira and Veron (1995), Coles (1996).

Map displaying probable distribution of species. Points indicate recorded sightings from OBIS.
Galaxea fascicularis.  Papua New Guinea.  Massive colonies over 2 metres diameter are common in the central Indo-Pacific.  Charlie Veron.

Galaxea fascicularis. Papua New Guinea. Massive colonies over 2 metres diameter are common in the central Indo-Pacific. Charlie Veron.

Galaxea fascicularis.  Tanzania.  Colonies may be very large but are usually and small cushion-shaped in the western Indian Ocean.  Charlie Veron.

Galaxea fascicularis. Tanzania. Colonies may be very large but are usually and small cushion-shaped in the western Indian Ocean. Charlie Veron.

Galaxea fascicularis.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Variation in surface detail.  Charlie Veron.

Galaxea fascicularis. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Variation in surface detail. Charlie Veron.

Galaxea fascicularis.  Philippines.  Variation in surface detail.  Charlie Veron.

Galaxea fascicularis. Philippines. Variation in surface detail. Charlie Veron.

Galaxea fascicularis.  null.  Corallite detail. The sabre-like septa are visible inside the tentacles.  Valerie Taylor.

Galaxea fascicularis. null. Corallite detail. The sabre-like septa are visible inside the tentacles. Valerie Taylor.

Galaxea fascicularis.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing corallites.

Galaxea fascicularis. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing corallites.

Galaxea fascicularis.  Southern Red Sea.  Showing corallites.

Galaxea fascicularis. Southern Red Sea. Showing corallites.

Galaxea fascicularis.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing G. astreata colony being overgrown by G. fascicularis.

Galaxea fascicularis. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing G. astreata colony being overgrown by G. fascicularis.

Galaxea fascicularis.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing long septal spines.

Galaxea fascicularis. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing long septal spines.

Galaxea fascicularis.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing corallites.

Galaxea fascicularis. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing corallites.

Galaxea fascicularis.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing corallites.

Galaxea fascicularis. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing corallites.