species: Goniopora tenuidens in taxonomy (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Goniopora tenuidens

©Andy Lewis: Goniopora tenuidens at Watson's Bay, Lizard Island, with retracted polyps on part of the colony

©Andy Lewis: A macro image of Goniopora tenuidens┬áThe polyps have tentacles of uniform length.

©Andy Lewis: A colony of Goniopora tenuidens at Watson's Bay, Lizard Island
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Cnidaria
Class Hexacorallia
Order Scleractinia
Family Poritidae
Genus Goniopora
Species Goniopora tenuidens
Status least concern



Distinguishing features

A coral that forms massive and sub-massive colonies with a soft appearance when polyps are extended. Polyp tentacles are uniform in length, and typically coloured light brown or cream. The underlying tissues are sometimes a light green.


  • Size data has not been obtained.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

Protected lagoons and back reef margins.

Can be found in most habitats around Lizard Island.

Local abundance

  • Lizard Island: Common


Goniopora tenuidens has aggressive sweeper tentacles, and has also been found to emit toxic compounds, hence other corals are not able to settle nearby, and it is resistant to feeding by Crown of Thorns Starfish and so has survived the 1990's outbreak with little loss.

This species is a gonochoric 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