By Bob Goemans
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Family Fungiidae - Cycloseris, Fungia, Heliofungia, Herpolitha and others

 Heliofungia actiniformis (Plate Coral, Long Tentacle Plate Coral, Mushroom Coral, Disc Coral)

Heliofungia actiniformis
(Quoy & Gaimard, 1833)

Plate Coral, Long Tentacle Plate Coral, Mushroom Coral, Disc Coral

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable


There are basically four genera of interest in this family for reef keepers, Cycloseris, Fungia, Heliofungia, and Herpolitha. Yet some other odd-ball's are shown here.

Those in the genus Fungia have common names such as Mushroom Coral, Plate Coral, Disk Coral, and Fungus Coral and/or are sometimes simply referred to as 'Fungia Coral.' These solitary, single polyp, single mouth free living photosynthetic LPS are mostly round in shape. They have short tentacles, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in height, usually extended at night and are not aggressive. Fungia differ from Heliofungia as the latter has long anemone-like tentacles. Found mostly in shades of brown or green, however, some specimens with purple, red and/or pink are occasionally available. They come from sandy bottom lagoon areas and should be maintained in closed systems directly on the sandbed surface under moderate light.

There's also a species in the genus Cycloseris that is similar in appearance to Fungia spp, yet grows somewhat larger and inhabits various reef environments. This close relative is also a solitary, saucer-shaped photosynthetic stony coral, yet with a slightly raised central dome appearance and a somewhat flat smooth back

Heliofungia species also have common names such as Plate Coral, Disk Coral and Mushroom Coral. They are another free-living photosynthetic stony coral with a single large polyp with long tentacles extended during the day.

Those in the Genus Herpolitha are similar in body height to Fungia corals, however, more elongated, hence their name 'Slipper Corals.' Sometimes found 'Y' or 'V' shaped, which is caused by regeneration of a damaged area. This photosynthetic coral can get quite large, with specimens in the wild attaining 3 feet (1 m) in length. Does well in closed systems under low light and gentle water movement.

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