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Family Euphyllidae: (Gk. eu-, true; Gk. phyllon, leaf).... possibly relating to the prominent leafy septa.
The family Caryophylliidae was formerly divided into six subfamilies one of which (subfamily Eusmiliinae) was zooxanthellate. This arrangement is artificial and has been revised (Veron, 2000). The family name Eismiliidae is not used for this family as the subfamily Eusmiliinae includes the genus Eusmilia.
Colonies are phaceloid, meandroid or flabello-meandroid, with large, solid and widely spaced smooth septo-costae (little ornamentation; same is valid for their walls. Euphyllidae are commonly referred to as the "bubble" or "grape" corals, since the large fleshy tentacles and vesicles are expanded during the day give the corals a bubble-like appearance.

It is a very large family of zooxanthellate scleractinans, that were previously grouped in the family Caryophylliidae (Mather, 1994). It includes such genera as Euphyllia, Catalyphyllia, Nemenzophyllia, Plerogyra, and Physogyra. Colonies are phaceloid, meandroid or flabello-meandroid, with large, solid and widely spaced septo-costae which have little or no ornamentation. Corallite walls have a similar structure. The most conspicious of this family are the genera Plerogyra and Euphyllia. They can be very abundant in turbid lagoonal habitats.


Some members of the family Euphyllidae (100kB)

While most of the genera are frequently seen around PNG, species of the genera Nemenzophyllia are found only occasionally. Euphyllia glabrescens and Physogyra lichtensteini have the widest distribution in PNG.
Both Euphyllia divisa and Physogyra lichtensteini were observed to spawn during the mass-spawning events on the GBR.

Key to the family Euphyllidae Colonies do not have vesicles extended during daytime Colonies have V-shaped valleys: Genus Catalaphyllia
Colonies do not have V-shaped valleys Colonies have tentacles: Genus Euphyllia
Colonies have mantles: Genus Nemenzophyllia
Colonies have vesicles or mantles extended during daytime Colonies not massive: Genus Plerogyra
Colonies massive: Genus Plysogyra
All genera are restricted to the Indo-Pacific region: ---------------------------------------------------------------------

Euphyllia (Gk. eu-, true; phyllon, leaf):

Two species groups of Euphyllia cannot be identified from skeletons alone. The first,originally described as Euphyllia fimbriata, contains two species: E.divisa and E.ancora. The second contains five species: E.glabrescens, E.paradivisa, E.paraancora and E.paraglabrescens. The last species is known only from one site, at Tanegashima, Japan. Corallum with phaceloid growth; are green, gray, bluish, or pale-brown in color. Tentacles with withish, greenish to cream tips, that are round, kidney to bean-shaped (according to the species). Polyps usually at least partly extended. Corallites are very tall (up to 150mm) and either single or in rows; rise separately (even at their bases) from encrusting leaves and are usually 1-40mm in diameter. Calices are rounded. Septa are numerous and in cycles, larger ones exsert by as much as 10mm as they pass over the corallite wall. Septal margins are smooth, finely granulated or minutely dentate. There is no columella.
PRESENT DISTRIBUTION: Red Sea and western Indian Ocean to southern Pacific.
GENERAL ABUNDANCE: generally common, very conspicuous.
FOSSIL RECORD: Eocene (?) of the Indian Ocean, Oligocene of the Caribbean and Tethys.
NUMBER OF EXTANT SPECIES: 8 known species.
Catalaphyllia (named after R.Catala; Gk. phyllon, leaf): This genus is generally uncommon throughout the recorded distribution range. It occurs in localised areas of Honshu, Japan but has not yet been found elsewhere in Japan. These colonies have the same general appearance as those from the Philippines and Australia, with the same grey-green tentacles with pink tips. There are, however, minor colour and ecological differences between Japanese and Australian colonies that may amount to distinct geographic subspecies.
Corallum of C.jardinei is monocentric and attached by a small base but adults are free-living; its color is gray-brown to purple; in the field only distinguishable from Euphyllia by the permanently extended tentacles, which have a wide, fleshy area that is usually pale green or purple in color at their tips. The oral disks are broad and bright green or purplish in color. There are 9-12 septa/cm. Septa are thin and only slightly exsert with the margins granular, finely serrated, or toothed. Fossa wide and V-shaped in cross-section. Low costae extend down the outside of the corallite wall. Columella is absent.
PRESENT DISTRIBUTION: Central Indo-Pacific.
GENERAL ABUNDANCE: generally uncommon, very conspicuous.
FOSSIL RECORD: none.
NUMBER OF EXTANT SPECIES: 1 known species.
Nemenzophyllia (?; Gk. phyllon, leaf): Colonies of N.turbida may be several meters across and are composed of inter-connecting meandering thin walls flabello-meandroid valleys; polyps have fleshy and broad mantles but no tentacles. Valleys are 8-10mm wide and may be up to 200mm high. Septa are in 3 orders. The 1st order is up to 5mm exsert and meet at the valley center. Costae are exsert as well. A regularly interrupted columella meanders along with the valleys.
PRESENT DISTRIBUTION: Central Indo-Pacific (Malaysia, Phillipines, Indonesia PNG).
GENERAL ABUNDANCE: rare but conspicuous.
FOSSIL RECORD: none.
NUMBER OF EXTANT SPECIES: 1 known species.
Plerogyra (Gk. pleres, full; gyrus, circle); common name: bubble coral A single species, P.sinuosa, occurs throughout most of the geographic range of this genus. Like most other Caryophylliidae, Plerogyra species are most commonly found in turbid water, but their occurrence is often unpredictable.
Rounded colonies that form large stalked corallites with fleshy mantles but no tentacles. Flabello-meandriod corallites are usually over 50mm tall, 20-100mm in diameter, and are well spaced from their neighbors (are only united at their bases, contrary to Physogyra which are united at their top). Septa are prominent and the larger ones are exsert by as much as 10mm. PRESENT DISTRIBUTION: Red Sea and western Indian Ocean to southern Pacific.
GENERAL ABUNDANCE: Generally uncommon, very conspicuous.
FOSSIL RECORD: None.
NUMBER OF EXTANT SPECIES: 5 known species.
Physogyra (Gk. physa, air bubble; gyrus, circle); common name: grape coral P.lichtensteini forms massive rounded colonies that are pale-brown in color. T he corals are covered by a mat of swollen bubble-shaped vesicles and pointed tentacles. Calices are united in series at the top of their walls (unlike Plerogyra) and may be short or long and sinuouidal, with only septa projecting. The distance from mid-ridge to mid-ridge is about 10-15mm. Septa are exsert by several mm as they pass over the corallite wall and have a leafy appearance; the upper margins are smooth. Fossa are deep with the septa dropping down steeply; along with neighboring corallites form rounded arches in cross-section. There is no columella.
PRESENT DISTRIBUTION: Red Sea and western Indian Ocean to southern Pacific.
GENERAL ABUNDANCE: sometimes common, very conspicuous.
FOSSIL RECORD: None(?).
NUMBER OF EXTANT SPECIES: 1 known species.