species: Herpolitha limax in ALA: LIRS and surrounds using records to Oct. 2021 (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Herpolitha limax

©Andy Lewis: A small Herpolitha limax at Watsons Bay, Lizard Island

©Andy Lewis: Macro image of Herpolitha limax showing the typical form of septal ridges

©Andy Lewis: Herpolitha limax at Lizard Island
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Cnidaria
Class Hexacorallia
Order Scleractinia
Family Fungiidae
Genus Herpolitha
Species Herpolitha limax
Status least concern



Distinguishing features

A fungid coral that forms an elongate skeleton up to 30 cm long. Multiple mouths are formed along the axial furrow. Septal teeth are fine, and few septa extend from the axial furrow to the edge of the colony. The skeleton may split to form Y or X shaped colonies. Colour is typically brown.


  • Up to 30 cm (length)


Similar taxa


Herpolitha limax is currently the only recognised species in this genus (WORMS accessed 17 Jan 2015).

by Anne Hoggett


©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

Reef fronts, lagoons.

Can be found in most habitats around Lizard Island.


H. limax is a broadcast spawning hermaphrodite.

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