Colonies are spherical, columnar or flattened. Corallites are circular and widely spaced or closely compacted. The width of calices varies greatly, this variation mostly occurring between, rather than within, colonies. Long and short septa alternate. Small paliform lobes are usually developed.
Cream or orange on reef flats, often with colours concentric to the oral discs. Usually dark brown when in shaded habitats.
Shallow environments, especially reef flats.
Taxonomic note: This species is divisible into several smaller semi-distinct taxonomic units. Source reference: Veron (2000). Taxonomic references: Chevalier (1971), Veron, Pichon and Wijsman-Best (1977). Additional identification guides: Veron (1986), Sheppard and Sheppard (1991), Nishihira and Veron (1995).
displaying probable distribution of species. Points indicate recorded sightings from OBIS.
Montastrea curta.Guam.Typical appearance of a small columnar colony.Gustav Paulay.
Montastrea curta.Philippines.Tops of columns often have small compact corallites.Charlie Veron.
Montastrea curta.Coral Sea.Sometimes septo-costae are distinctive especially in colonies exposed to strong wave action.Neville Coleman.
Montastrea curta.Papua New Guinea.Common variation in corallite shape and colour.null.
Montastrea curta.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Common variation in corallite shape and colour.Charlie Veron.
Montastrea curta.Scott Reef, western Australia.Common variation in corallite shape and colour.Charlie Veron.
Montastrea curta.Norfolk Island, Coral Sea.A distinctive regional variant.Charlie Veron.