species: Acanthastrea echinata in taxonomy (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Acanthastrea echinata

©Andy Lewis: A specimen of Acanthastrea echinata at Lizard Island showing an encrusting growth form

©Andy Lewis: A macro image of Acanthastrea echinata showing fleshy tissue covering the skeleton and forming forming concentric folds around the corallites.

©Anne Hoggett: A small (5-10 cm diameter) colony of Acanthastrea echinata on the shallow granite slope at Granite Bluff, Lizard Island. Identified by Dr Zoe Richards.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Cnidaria
Class Hexacorallia
Order Scleractinia
Family Lobophylliidae
Genus Acanthastrea
Species Acanthastrea echinata
Status near threatened



Distinguishing features

A coral with an encrusting to massive growth form, usually smaller than 1 metre in diameter. Corallites are round with thick walls and long septal teeth. Skeleton is covered with thick fleshy tissue that forms concentric folds. Colour is typically brown, grey or green.


  • Size data has not been obtained.


Similar taxa


©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

Upper reef slopes.

Can be found in most habitats around Lizard Island.


A. echinata is a hermaphroditic broadcast spawner.

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Veron, J.E.N. (2000). Corals of the World Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville.

Other references

  • Baird, A.H., J.R. Guest and B.L. Willis (2009). Systematic and biogeographical patterns in the reproductive biology of scleractinian corals, Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, 40: 551-571.
  • Dinesen, Z.D. (1983). Shade-dwelling corals of the Great Barrier Reef, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 10: 173-185. LIRS catalog number 157.
  • View all references