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Key to Coral Genera (in alphabetical order)

Family Acroporidae No axial corallite Corallites <2mm in diameter, columella absent Branches without basal structures Genus Anacropora
Branches with basal structures Genus Montipora
Corallites obvious (>2mm), columella present Genus Astreopora
Axial corallites on branch ends Genus Acropora
Family Agariciidae Colony not massive Corallite centers discernible Polyps aligned between collines Corallites without individual walls Genus Agaricia
Corallites with individual walls Genus Leptoseris
Polyps not aligned between collines Genus Pavona
Corallite centers not discernible Genus Pachyseris
Colony massive Corallites in concavities Genus Gardineroseris
Corallites not in concavities Genus Coeloseris
Family Astrocoeniidae Colonies encrusting, corallites inconspicuous Coenosteum style present Genus Stylocoeniella
No coenosteum style Genus Stephanocoenia
Colonies becoming branching, corallites conspicuous Septa with free margins Genus Palauastrea
Septa fused with columella Genus Madracis
Family Caryophylliidae Genus Heteropyathus
Family Dendrophylliidae Colony attached to substrate Colony with fronds or encrusting Genus Turbinaria
Colony composed of branches Branches subdivide Genus Duncanopsammmia
Branches do not subdivide Genus Balanophyllia
Colony not attached to substrate Genus Heteropsammia
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
Family Faviidae Colonies phaceloid Corallites small (<5mm diameter) Genus Cladocora
Corallites not small (>5mm diameter) Genus Caulastrea
Colonies flabello-meandroid Genus Erythrastrea
Colonies massive or derived from massive Budding intratentacular or meandroid Colonies plocoid Coraliites not exsert Genus Favia
Corallites exsert Genus Barabattoia
Colonies cerioid to secondarily meandroid Paliform lobes present Paliform lobes not prominent Genus Favites
Paliform lobes prominent Valleys <10mm across Genus Goniastrea
Valleys >10mm across Ambulacral groove present Colonies large Genus Colpophyllia
Colonies Small Genus Manicina
Ambulacral groove absent Genus Oulophyllia
Paliform lobes absent or weakly developed Paliform lobes spongy Ambulacral groove absent Genus Platygyra
Ambulacral groove present Genus Diploria
Paliform lobes wall-like Genus Leptoria
Colonies branching Genus Australogyra
Budding extratentacular Corallites small (<4mm diameter) Corallites crowded Genus Cyphastrea
Corallites not crowded Genus Plesiastrea
Corallites middle-sized (>4mm, >15mm diameter) Corallites plocoid Colonies submassive Septa strongly alternate Genus Oulastrea
Septa do not alternate Genus Montrastrea
Colonies massive to columnar Genus Solenastrea
Corallites cerioid Genus Leptastrea
Corallites subplocoid Genus Parasimplastrea
Corallites large, conspicuous (>15mm diameter) Corallites cerioid Genus Moseleya
Corallites plocoid Genus Diploastrea
Colonies explanate to branching Genus Echinopora
Family Fungiidae Not colonial Free living Central mouth dominant Disc small, costae inconspicuous Disc entire Genus Cycloseris
Disc partitioned into segments Genus Diaseris
Disc not small, costae conspicuous Septal teeth form not large lobes Genus Fungia
Septal teeth form large lobes Genus Heliofungia
Axial furrow dominant Genus Ctenactis
Attached to substrate Genus Cantharellus
Colonial Colony free living Axial furrow indistinct Genus Herpolitha
Axial furrow indistinct or absent Septo-costae petaloid Genus Polyphyllia
Septo not petaloid Corallites robust, crowded Genus Sandalolitha
Corallites not robust or crowded Colonies form delicate domes Genus Zoopilus
Colonies do not form delicate domes Genus Halomitra
Colony attached to substrate Colony mostly encrusting Genus Lithophyllon
Colony mostly explanate Genus Podabacia
Family Meandrinidae Colony not phaceloid Colony meandroid Valleys convoluted Colony hemispherical Genus Ctenella
Colony columnar Genus Dendrogyra
Valleys not convoluted Columella present Genus Meandrina
Columellae absent Genus Gyrosmilia
Colony not meandroid Colony plocoid Genus Dichocoenia
Colony not plocoid Genus Montigyra
Colony phaceloid Genus Eusmilia
Family Merulinidae Monticules developed Genus Hydnophora
Monticules not developed Colony consists of branches and/or laminae No basal laminae Genus Paraclavarina
With basal laminae Genus Merulina
Colony massive Genus Boninastrea
Colony columnar Genus Scapophyllia
Family Mussidae Colonial Corallites <12mm diameter Colony phaceloid Genus Blastomussa
Colony Cerioid Genus Micromussa
Corallites >12mm diameter Colony cerioid to subplocoid Septal teeth pointed Genus Acanthastrea
Septal teeth beaded Genus Mussismilia
Colony subplocoid to submeandroid Genus Isophyllia
Colony phaceloid to flabello-meandroid Corallites numerous Genus Lobophyllia
Corallites not numerous Genus Mussa
Colony meandroid Septal teeth very prominent Genus Symphyllia
Septal teeth not very prominent Valleys mostly radiate Genus Mycetophyllia
Valleys concentric Genus Australomussa
Non Colonial Septal teeth pointed Genus Scolymia
Septal teeth lobed Septal teeth very large Genus Cynarina
Septal teeth not very large Genus Indophyllia
Family Oculinidae Septa <2mm exsert Colony branching Budding intratentacular Genus Oculina
Budding extratentacular Genus Schizoculina
Colony not branching Genus Simplastrea
Septa >2mm exsert Genus Galaxea
Family Pectiniidae
Corallites more conspicuous than coenostial structures Non-colonial Genus Echinomorpha
Colonial genera Coenostial pits present Genus Oxypora
Coenostial pits absent Corallites not inclined Genus Echinophyllia
Corallites inclined Genus Mycedium
Coenostial structures very conspicuous Genus Pectinia
Family Pocilloporidae Colonies have verrucae Genus Pocillopora
Colonies do not have verrucae Branches fine (<10mm diameter) Genus Seriatopora
Branches robust (>10mm diameter) Genus Stylophora
Family Poritidae Corallites <2mm diameter Septa fused in non-cyclical pattern Genus Porites
Septa not fused Columella present Genus Stylaraea
Columella absent Genus Poritipora
Corallites >2mm diameter Skeleton robust, not very porous Genus Goniapora
Skeleton delicate, very porous Genus Alveopora
Family Rhizangiidae Genus Astrangia
Family Siderastreidae Corallite walls well defined Colony plocoid Genus Horastrea
Colony not plocoid Colony cerioid Septal teeth saw-like Genus Pseudosiderastrea
Septal teeth not saw-like Genus Siderastrea
Colony not cerioid Genus Anomastraea
Corallite walls not well defined Corallites <3mm diameter Genus Psammocora
Corallites >3mm diameter Genus Coscinaraea
Family Trachyphylliidae Genus Trahyphyllia
Key to Coral Genera (Based on Veron 2000, Corals of the World)