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Goniopora columna

Dana, 1846

Colonies are short columns, oval in transverse section. Corallites near the tops of columns have fine irregular septa and diffuse columellae. Those on the sides of columns have broad compact columellae and short septa. Colonies have large polyps with large oral cones.

Colour: Brown, green or yellow, usually with white oral cones. Contracted polyps usually have distinctly different colours.

Habitat: Forms large single species stands, especially in turbid water.

Abundance: Common.

Similar species: Goniopora stokesi

Taxonomic note: Source reference: Veron (2000). Taxonomic reference: Veron and Pichon (1982). Additional identification guides: Veron (1986), Sheppard and Sheppard (1991), Nishihira and Veron (1995).

Map displaying probable distribution of species. Points indicate recorded sightings from OBIS.
Goniopora columna.  Houtman Abrolhos Islands, south-western Australia.  The columnar structure of large colonies is masked if polyps are fully extended.  Charlie Veron.

Goniopora columna.Houtman Abrolhos Islands, south-western Australia.The columnar structure of large colonies is masked if polyps are fully extended.Charlie Veron.

Goniopora columna.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Polyps at varying stages of extension.  Charlie Veron.

Goniopora columna.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Polyps at varying stages of extension.Charlie Veron.

Goniopora columna.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  This species has a wide range of colours, commonly with matching oral discs and tentacle tips or just white oral cones.  Charlie Veron.

Goniopora columna.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.This species has a wide range of colours, commonly with matching oral discs and tentacle tips or just white oral cones.Charlie Veron.

Goniopora columna.  Philippines.  This species has a wide range of colours, commonly with matching oral discs and tentacle tips or just white oral cones.  Charlie Veron.

Goniopora columna.Philippines.This species has a wide range of colours, commonly with matching oral discs and tentacle tips or just white oral cones.Charlie Veron.

Goniopora columna.  Philippines.  Polyps retracted after being disturbed.  Charlie Veron.

Goniopora columna.Philippines.Polyps retracted after being disturbed.Charlie Veron.

Goniopora columna.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  The large oral discs are a useful character in underwater identification.  Mary Stafford-Smith.

Goniopora columna.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.The large oral discs are a useful character in underwater identification.Mary Stafford-Smith.

Goniopora columna.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing corallites.

Goniopora columna.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing corallites.

Goniopora columna.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing branch ends.

Goniopora columna.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing branch ends.

Goniopora columna.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing whole colony.

Goniopora columna.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing whole colony.

Goniopora columna.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing corallites.

Goniopora columna.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing corallites.