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Polyphyllia talpina

(Lamarck, 1801)

Colonies are free-living and elongate, with an axial furrow that may become indistinct. Colonies are occasionally Y, T or X shaped. Centres are evenly distributed over the upper surface. Primary septa are short and elliptical or petaloid. Secondary septa usually fuse around the primaries to form a background matrix. Tentacles are usually extended during the day; they are long and numerous.

Colour: Grey, greenish or cream, with white tentacle tips.

Habitat: Reef slopes, especially where Fungia is common.

Abundance: Common.

Similar species: Polyphyllia novaehiberniae

Taxonomic note: Source reference: Veron (2000). Taxonomic references: Veron and Pichon (1980), Lamberts (1984), Hoeksema (1989). Additional identification guides: Randall and Myers (1983), Veron (1986), Nishihira and Veron (1995).

Map displaying probable distribution of species. Points indicate recorded sightings from OBIS.
Polyphyllia talpina.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Tentacles extended during the day give colonies a hairy appearance.  Jim Maragos.

Polyphyllia talpina.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Tentacles extended during the day give colonies a hairy appearance.Jim Maragos.

Polyphyllia talpina.  Indonesia.  Colonies may be branched: there is no taxanomic significance in this.  Roger Steene.

Polyphyllia talpina.Indonesia.Colonies may be branched: there is no taxanomic significance in this.Roger Steene.

Polyphyllia talpina.  Papua New Guinea.  Detail of tentacles.  Neville Coleman.

Polyphyllia talpina.Papua New Guinea.Detail of tentacles.Neville Coleman.

Polyphyllia talpina.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing corallites.

Polyphyllia talpina.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing corallites.

Polyphyllia talpina.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing upper surface.

Polyphyllia talpina.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing upper surface.

Polyphyllia talpina.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing upper surface.

Polyphyllia talpina.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing upper surface.

Polyphyllia talpina.  Great Barrier Reef, Australia.  Showing lower surface.

Polyphyllia talpina.Great Barrier Reef, Australia.Showing lower surface.