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Pavona cactus

(Forskål, 1775)

Colonies are composed of thin, contorted, bifacial, upright fronds with or without thickened branching bases. Corallites are fine, shallow and are aligned in irregular rows parallel to frond margins.

Colour: Pale brown or greenish-brown, often with white margins.

Habitat: Usually found in lagoons and on upper reef slopes, especially those of fringing reefs, and in turbid water protected from wave action, where colonies are sometimes over 10 metres across.

Abundance: Common.

Similar species: Pavona frondifera

Taxonomic note: 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), Coles (1996).

Map displaying probable distribution of species. Points indicate recorded sightings from OBIS.
Pavona cactus.  Tanzania.  A monospecific stand.  Charlie Veron.

Pavona cactus.Tanzania.A monospecific stand.Charlie Veron.

Pavona cactus.  Philippines.  On a sheltered reef slope.  Charlie Veron.

Pavona cactus.Philippines.On a sheltered reef slope.Charlie Veron.

Pavona cactus.  Philippines.  Showing the smooth surface of contorted fronds.  Charlie Veron.

Pavona cactus.Philippines.Showing the smooth surface of contorted fronds.Charlie Veron.

Pavona cactus.  Ryukyu Islands, Japan.  Showing the smooth surface of contorted fronds.  Charlie Veron.

Pavona cactus.Ryukyu Islands, Japan.Showing the smooth surface of contorted fronds.Charlie Veron.

Pavona cactus.  Indonesia.  Large fronds in a protected environment.  Valerie Taylor.

Pavona cactus.Indonesia.Large fronds in a protected environment.Valerie Taylor.

Pavona cactus.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing frond end.

Pavona cactus.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing frond end.

Pavona cactus.  Cocos Keeling Islands, Indian Ocean.  Showing colony formation.

Pavona cactus.Cocos Keeling Islands, Indian Ocean.Showing colony formation.

Pavona cactus.  Philippines.  Showing plate surface.

Pavona cactus.Philippines.Showing plate surface.

Pavona cactus.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing valleys.

Pavona cactus.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing valleys.

Pavona cactus.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing whole colony.

Pavona cactus.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing whole colony.

Pavona cactus.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing corallites.

Pavona cactus.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing corallites.