species: Goniastrea retiformis in taxonomy (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Goniastrea retiformis

©Anne Hoggett: Goniastrea retiformis at Lizard Island.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Cnidaria
Class Hexacorallia
Order Scleractinia
Family Merulinidae
Genus Goniastrea
Species Goniastrea retiformis
Status least concern



Distinguishing features

A species that forms ridged massive colonies up to 3m diameter. Corallites are angular and cereoid, with alternating large and small septa and palliform lobes. Colours are cream to dark brown.


  • Size data has not been obtained.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

Reef fronts, shallow reef flats.

Can be found in most habitats around Lizard Island.


G. retiformis is a hermaphroditic broadcast spawner. The larvae preferentially settle in shallow waters and this is the primary habitat zone for this species. Several studies have investigated the reproductive biology of G. retiformis.

This species is slow growing like most massive Favid corals, with growth rates typically less than 0.5cm/year. It is well adapted to shallow turbid waters however, and is able to switch between autotrophic and heterotrophic modes of feeding as environmental conditions change.

Web resources


  • Berumen, M.L. (2006). Influence of resource availability on life-history traits in coral-feeding butterflyfishes (Pisces: Chaetodontidae), Ph.D. thesis, James Cook University, Australia. LIRS catalog number 987.
  • Dornelas, M. and S.R. Connolly (2008). Multiple modes in a coral species abundance distribution, Ecology Letters, 11: 1008-1016. LIRS catalog number 1145.
  • Kleeman, K. (1995). Associations of coral and boring bivalves: Lizard Island (Great Barrier Reef, Australia) versus Safaga (N Red Sea), Beitrage zur Palaontologie, 20: 31-39. LIRS catalog number 416.
  • View all references