species: Isopora cuneata in Lizard Island area: all known taxa (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Isopora cuneata
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Cnidaria
Class Anthozoa
Order Scleractinia
Family Acroporidae
Genus Isopora
Species Isopora cuneata

Distinguishing features

A robust species that forms pillows, ridges, and submassive clumps up to 2m in breadth. Clusters of axial polyps are found along the branch and ridge ends, and the radial corallites are rounded. Most specimens are pale brown. The con-generic Isopora palifera is also found at Lizard Island, and the two species can be difficult to seperate without biochemical analysis. I. palifera has slightly larger, elongate corallites and more robust branches, and is more abundant in sheltered back reef habitats.


  • Size data has not been obtained.


Similar taxa


©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

High wave energy areas such as front reef slopes, reef crests, flats, and exposed back reef bommies.

Abundant in shallow, wave exposed habitats around Lizard Island.


The genus Isopora is unique amongst the Acroporidae in that the oocytes are fertilised inside the parent polyp, the larvae are brooded until release, and settlement can occur immeadiately. Colonies are simultaneous hermaphrodites, and planula release occurs throughout much of the year at Lizard Island.

Web resources


  • Abrego, D., M.J.H. Van Oppen and B.L. Willis (2009). Onset of algal endosymbiont specificity varies among closely related species of Acropora corals during early ontogeny, Molecular Ecology, 18: 3532-3543.
  • Ayre, D.J. and T.P Hughes (2004). Climate change, genotypic diversity and gene flow in reef-building corals, Ecology Letters, 7: 273-278. LIRS catalog number 852.
  • Ayre, D.J., J.E.N. Veron and S.L. Dufty (1991). The corals Acropora palifera and Acropora cuneata are genetically and ecologically distinct, Coral Reefs, 10(1): 13-18.
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