species: Favites abdita in Lizard Island area: all known taxa (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Favites abdita

©Andy Lewis: A colony of Favites abdita at Lizard Island

©Andy Lewis: Macro image of Favites abdita showing the typical form of the corallites

©Andy Lewis: A colony of Favites abdita at Watson's Bay, Lizard Island
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Cnidaria
Class Hexacorallia
Order Scleractinia
Family Merulinidae
Genus Favites
Species Favites abdita
Status near threatened



Distinguishing features

A species that forms massive colonies up to 1.7m diameter. Corallites are angular, cereoid and large, usually with green oral disks, while colony colour is usually pale brown to dark brown. Distinguish from the closely related F. halicora which has more rounded corallites with smaller paliform lobes.


  • Size data has not been obtained.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

Reef fronts, shallow reef flats.

Can be found in most habitats around Lizard Island.


F. abdita is a hermaphroditic broadcast spawner. Larvae are released without symbiotic zooxanthellae, but acquire these from seawater at about the 6th day after spawning. Higher than normal water temperatures did not affect fertilisation and embryogenesis in laboratory experiments, and after bleaching, this species was found to repopuate the tissues with similar clades of zooxanthellae.

This species is slow growing like most massive Favid corals, with growth rates typically less than 0.5cm/year.

Web resources


  • Babcock, R.C., G.D. Bull, P.L. Harrison, A.J. Heyward, J.K. Oliver, C.C. Wallace and B.L. Willis (1986). Synchronous spawnings of 105 scleractinian coral species on the Great Barrier Reef, Marine Biology, 90: 379-394. LIRS catalog number 300.
  • Baird, A.H., J.R. Guest and B.L. Willis (2009). Systematic and biogeographical patterns in the reproductive biology of scleractinian corals, Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics, 40: 551-571.
  • Baird, A.H. and P.A. Marshall (2000). Bleaching of corals on the Great Barrier Reef: differential susceptibilities among taxa, Coral Reefs, 19: 155-163.
  • View all references