Howies Scuba

Marine Life Identification Perth WA

Shore Diving


Corals are marine organisms in class Anthozoa of phylum Cnidaria typically living in compact colonies of many identical individual "polyps." The group includes the important reef builders that inhabit tropical oceans, which secrete calcium carbonate to form a hard skeleton... (Wikipedia)


Yellow Cup Coral aka Yellow Pagoda Coral
(Turbinaria sp.)
(f. Dendrphylliidae)

This is a beautifully shaped and looking Coral taken at Robbs Jetty. I have only seen it once and never again since. I am unsure of its life-cycle or if other marine life feed off it, so I am a little bit confused what has happened to it.

That said we did have some rough weather not long after this photograph was taken and maybe it was dislodged.

Photographs 3 & 4 showing miniature versions of these corals, taken at Robbs over two years since the originals were taken, a rare bird it seems......

Photographs 5 & 6 showing extended tentacles, again at Robbs Jetty. I can't recall seeing these coral at any of the other shore dive sites.
These photographs here showing colour variation. These were large specimens, larger than the original photographs at the top. Photographed just south of Robbs Jetty on the far side of the sea grass area.

Now this side of Robbs doesn't get dived much so I am wondering if the lack of human interaction has in part allowed these to flourish as Robbs Jetty gets an unfortunate battering by the diving community.
I am guessing these are just a variation of the same type of coral. Taken @ Woodmans Point Groin and Robbs Jetty.

Turret Coral
(Tubastrea coccinea)
(f. Dendrphylliidae)

A little cheat here, these where photographed at Coral Gardens whilst out with Western Blue Dive Charters.

However I have a rather pathetic looking photograph taken at BBR with some of these forming a small clutch just out of focus and tucked away in the corner. So I have stolen these from the Garden and put them in a vase for you...... Beautiful.

 Brain Coral
(Goniastrea palauensis)

(f. Faviidae)

Stony Coral aka Brain Coral of the Scleractinian sp. I have seen a few of these at Robbs Jetty. The honeycomb pattern can vary in its colouring, including liver red to light orange.

Taken on a night dive @ Woodmans Point Groin.

Now these next photographs taken at BBR, quite beautiful blueish shade to this one.

This was taken on a night dive as the polyps and tentacles of the coral where coming out  to feed.

I believe this is a Brain Coral of the same Genus of those above however, I have noticed a slight variation in its structure.

Between each polyp in the raised wall there runs a small distinct trench separating the walls, which is not so distinct in the other photographs.

Consideration: There is another coral similar looking to this last coral above called Favites flexuosa. My main resource on corals has this as being only known outside our geographical range however recently I have found resources that states it is known within the Perth area, so it could be Favites flexuosa. Similar to Favites Paraflexuosa.

Goniastrea aspera
(f. Faviidae)

If you ever get to dive BBR and you approach the reef from the T junction from the harbour wall. In the middle of the North East wall of the reef is a small entrance that takes you into the middle of the reef. This rather splendid specimen is what will greet you after approx 5 meters past the entrance.

Taken on a night dive @ Woodmans Point Groin.

Taken on a night dive @ Woodmans Point Groin.

Goniastrea australensis
(f. Faviidae)

Another great specimen from BBR this situated at the deeper side of the reef at the West corner of the reef.

Taken on a night dive just outside Fremantle Port.

Favites complanata
(f. Faviidae)

Consideration: I originally considered these as variations on Goniastrea australensis, however Favites complanata appear to have a more angular shape to the walls, similar to these photographs, so a bit more research is required to truly identify these.

I have struggled with these, photographed at BBR (again).

As always if you have some information that identifies this coral, please pass it on.

  Green Coral
(Plesiastrea versipora)
(f. Faviidae)

These are quite common on all the limestone reefs along the Perth coastline.

I have found them mainly just at the entrances of caves or just on the cusps of ledges, it may be due to current/water flow across these areas, plus they need a quality source of light so I guess they wouldn't venture any further under on these areas.


For a long time I have been trying to obtain identification for these corals. I have been somewhat stumped due to their varying colours, shapes and patterns, but I do believe these are just variations of the same coral.

The variations above and the central coral here where photographed on limestone reef. However the outer ring variations photographed around jetties. Including timber and concrete groins of Robbs Jetty, and Jervoise Bay.

I have been fortunate enough to obtain photographs of these corals in various stages of opening a closing of polyps or tentacles, showing how they can look quite different.

Favourites are the furthest row top to bottom, and of course the central photograph with its beautiful blueish hue.

Favia favus
(f. Faviidae)

Another beautiful and large coral from BBR. This Favia Favus was photographed on the west side of the reef.

Some confusion with this specimen as these top two look a lot  more like Favia lizardensis but lizardensis is not known in our distribution range.

Photographed on both day and night dives at Woodmans Point Groin.

This specimen tiny compared to that above.

 Montastrea curta
(f. Faviidae)

Photographed at Jervoise Bay boat Ramps, Woodmans Point.

Cyphastrea Sp.
(f. Faviidae)

Photographed at Jervoise Bay. I am not sure what is happening in this first imafge, looks like it is just about crack open and explode.

McNeil's  Hard Coral
(Coscinaraea mcneleilli)

(f. Siderastereidae)

BBR is an excellent place to see some larger and varying corals without the need to head out to sea.


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