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Mycedium elephantotus

(Pallas, 1766)

Colonies are laminar or encrusting. Corallites are up to 15 millimetres diameter and nose-shaped, facing outward towards the colony perimeter. Septa and columellae are well developed and costae form outwardly radiating ribs on the colony surface which may become highly elaborated on corallite walls. The coenosteum is never pitted at the commencement of new septo-costae. Tentacles are usually extended only at night.

Colour: Usually a uniform brown, grey, green or pink but may have green, white or red oral discs. Colonies may have distinctively coloured margins.

Habitat: Most reef environments protected from strong wave action.

Abundance: Common.

Similar species: Mycedium robokaki , Mycedium umbra

Taxonomic note: Taxonomic note: This species is divisible into several smaller semi-distinct taxonomic units. Source reference: Veron (2000). Taxonomic reference: Veron and Pichon (1980). Additional identification guides: Randall and Myers (1983), Veron (1986), Sheppard and Sheppard (1991), Nishihira and Veron (1995).

Map displaying probable distribution of species. Points indicate recorded sightings from OBIS.
Mycedium elephantotus.  Papua New Guinea.  A large colony of tiered plates.  Charlie Veron.

Mycedium elephantotus. Papua New Guinea. A large colony of tiered plates. Charlie Veron.

Mycedium elephantotus.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  A large colony with lobed margins.  Mary Stafford-Smith.

Mycedium elephantotus. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. A large colony with lobed margins. Mary Stafford-Smith.

Mycedium elephantotus.  Houtman Abrolhos Islands, south-western Australia.  A gnarled colony near the northern limit of its distribution range.  Charlie Veron.

Mycedium elephantotus. Houtman Abrolhos Islands, south-western Australia. A gnarled colony near the northern limit of its distribution range. Charlie Veron.

Mycedium elephantotus.  Houtman Abrolhos Islands, south-western Australia.  Showing the wide range of colours and surface detail.  Charlie Veron.

Mycedium elephantotus. Houtman Abrolhos Islands, south-western Australia. Showing the wide range of colours and surface detail. Charlie Veron.

Mycedium elephantotus.  Houtman Abrolhos Islands, south-western Australia.  Showing the wide range of colours and surface detail.  Charlie Veron.

Mycedium elephantotus. Houtman Abrolhos Islands, south-western Australia. Showing the wide range of colours and surface detail. Charlie Veron.

Mycedium elephantotus.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing the wide range of colours and surface detail.  Charlie Veron.

Mycedium elephantotus. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing the wide range of colours and surface detail. Charlie Veron.

Mycedium elephantotus.  Ryukyu Islands, Japan.  Showing the wide range of colours and surface detail.  Charlie Veron.

Mycedium elephantotus. Ryukyu Islands, Japan. Showing the wide range of colours and surface detail. Charlie Veron.

Mycedium elephantotus.  Ryukyu Islands, Japan.  Showing the wide range of colours and surface detail.  Charlie Veron.

Mycedium elephantotus. Ryukyu Islands, Japan. Showing the wide range of colours and surface detail. Charlie Veron.

Mycedium elephantotus.  Micronesia.  Showing the wide range of colours and surface detail.  Valerie Taylor.

Mycedium elephantotus. Micronesia. Showing the wide range of colours and surface detail. Valerie Taylor.

Mycedium elephantotus.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing corallites.

Mycedium elephantotus. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing corallites.

Mycedium elephantotus.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing peripheral corallites.

Mycedium elephantotus. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing peripheral corallites.

Mycedium elephantotus.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing whole colony.

Mycedium elephantotus. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing whole colony.

Mycedium elephantotus.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing plate surface.

Mycedium elephantotus. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing plate surface.

Mycedium elephantotus.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing whole colony.

Mycedium elephantotus. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing whole colony.

Mycedium elephantotus.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing corallites.

Mycedium elephantotus. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing corallites.

Mycedium elephantotus.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing corallites.

Mycedium elephantotus. Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Showing corallites.