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Colpophyllia natans

(Houttuyn, 1772)

Colonies are large and hemispherical or encrusting. Valleys are usually long and sinuous but may become short, with 1-3 centres and form Hydnophora-like (Merulinidae) monticules. Septa are exsert, equal, and finely toothed. A fine ambulacral groove occurs along the tops of walls. Tentacles are extended only at night.

Colour: Walls are brown or grey with valleys the same colour or green.

Habitat: Shallow reef environments.

Abundance: Sometimes common, conspicuous.

Similar species:

Taxonomic note: Taxonomic note: Colonies with 1-3 centres have been considered by some authors to be a distinct species, Colpophyllia breviserialis. Source reference: Veron (2000). Taxonomic references: Roos (1971), Cairns (1982), Zlatarski and Estalella (1982), Fenner (1993). Additional identification guides: Colin (1978), Wood (1983), Humann (1993).

Map displaying probable distribution of species. Points indicate recorded sightings from OBIS.
Colpophyllia natans.  Caribbean.  This species forms large distinctive colonies.  Charlie Veron.

Colpophyllia natans.Caribbean.This species forms large distinctive colonies.Charlie Veron.

Colpophyllia natans.  Caribbean.  Colonies commonly have scalloped edges.  Mary Stafford-Smith.

Colpophyllia natans.Caribbean.Colonies commonly have scalloped edges.Mary Stafford-Smith.

Colpophyllia natans.  Caribbean.  A colony with mostly monocentric valleys. This occurs primarily where colonies are semi-encrusting.  Charlie Veron.

Colpophyllia natans.Caribbean.A colony with mostly monocentric valleys. This occurs primarily where colonies are semi-encrusting.Charlie Veron.

Colpophyllia natans.  Caribbean.  Showing common variation in corallite shape and colour.  Charlie Veron.

Colpophyllia natans.Caribbean.Showing common variation in corallite shape and colour.Charlie Veron.

Colpophyllia natans.  Caribbean.  Showing common variation in corallite shape and colour.  Charlie Veron.

Colpophyllia natans.Caribbean.Showing common variation in corallite shape and colour.Charlie Veron.

Colpophyllia natans.  Caribbean.  Showing common variation in corallite shape and colour.  Charlie Veron.

Colpophyllia natans.Caribbean.Showing common variation in corallite shape and colour.Charlie Veron.

Colpophyllia natans.  Caribbean.  Showing valleys.

Colpophyllia natans.Caribbean.Showing valleys.

Colpophyllia natans.  Caribbean.  Showing colony surface.

Colpophyllia natans.Caribbean.Showing colony surface.

Colpophyllia natans.  Caribbean.  Showing valleys.

Colpophyllia natans.Caribbean.Showing valleys.