Blue Coral (species: Heliopora coerulea) in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Heliopora coerulea
Blue Coral

©Anne Hoggett: A branching colony of Blue Coral (Heliopora coerulea) about 1 metre across at Lizard Island. 

©Anne Hoggett: A branch of Heliopora coerulea at Lizard Island, polyps retracted, numerous fine hairs visible (enlarge the image).

©Anne Hoggett: A large stand of Heliopora coerulea at Loomis Reef, Lizard Island
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Cnidaria
Class Octocorallia
Order Scleralcyonaceae
Family Helioporidae
Genus Heliopora
Species Heliopora coerulea
Status vulnerable



Distinguishing features

Colonies can be branching, plate-like or columnar and reach several metres across. The blue skeleton is usually visible but can be hidden by brown-grey tissue. Small (1 mm) polyps with eight tentacles are surrounded by even smaller pores which may bear hairs.

During the day, polyps are usually retracted; close examination of the skeleton will reveal the fine hairs. The colony looks markedly different when the white polyps are extended.


  • Size data has not been obtained.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

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