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Polyphyllia novaehiberniae

(Lesson, 1831)

Colonies are free-living and irregular in shape, with an axial furrow that may become indistinct. The wall is thin. Septo-costae radiate in a fan from a central corallite or are perpendicular to the colony margin, in which case they form distinctive lines of demarcation (see black-and-white photograph of skeleton, below). Primary septa are petaloid and form neat rows embedded in fused septa of lower orders. Tentacles are extended during the day giving colonies a hairy appearance.

Colour: Brown.

Habitat: Protected reef slopes and lagoons.

Abundance: Sometimes common due to mass reproduction by autotomy.

Similar species: Zoopilus echinatus

Taxonomic note: Source reference: Veron (2000). Taxonomic references: Lamberts (1984), Hoeksema (1989).

Map displaying probable distribution of species. Points indicate recorded sightings from OBIS.
Polyphyllia novaehiberniae.  Vanuatu.  This species commonly forms clusters with irregular shapes due to parent colonies breaking apart.  Charlie Veron.

Polyphyllia novaehiberniae.Vanuatu.This species commonly forms clusters with irregular shapes due to parent colonies breaking apart.Charlie Veron.

Polyphyllia novaehiberniae.  Vanuatu.  Surface detail. Each tentacle corresponds to a septal lobe.  Charlie Veron.

Polyphyllia novaehiberniae.Vanuatu.Surface detail. Each tentacle corresponds to a septal lobe.Charlie Veron.

Polyphyllia novaehiberniae.  Papua New Guinea.  Detail with tentacles retracted.  Charlie Veron.

Polyphyllia novaehiberniae.Papua New Guinea.Detail with tentacles retracted.Charlie Veron.

Polyphyllia novaehiberniae.  Vanuatu.  Showing whole colony.

Polyphyllia novaehiberniae.Vanuatu.Showing whole colony.

Polyphyllia novaehiberniae.  Vanuatu.  Showing upper surface.

Polyphyllia novaehiberniae.Vanuatu.Showing upper surface.

Polyphyllia novaehiberniae.  Vanuatu.  Showing colony edge.

Polyphyllia novaehiberniae.Vanuatu.Showing colony edge.

Polyphyllia novaehiberniae.  Vanuatu.  Showing lower surface.

Polyphyllia novaehiberniae.Vanuatu.Showing lower surface.