species: Goniastrea retiformis in Lizard Island area: all known taxa (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Goniastrea retiformis

©Anne Hoggett: Goniastrea retiformis at Lizard Island.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Cnidaria
Class Hexacorallia
Order Scleractinia
Family Merulinidae
Genus Goniastrea
Species Goniastrea retiformis
Status least concern



Distinguishing features

A species that forms ridged massive colonies up to 3m diameter. Corallites are angular and cereoid, with alternating large and small septa and palliform lobes. Colours are cream to dark brown.


  • 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.


G. retiformis is a hermaphroditic broadcast spawner. The larvae preferentially settle in shallow waters and this is the primary habitat zone for this species. Several studies have investigated the reproductive biology of G. retiformis.

This species is slow growing like most massive Favid corals, with growth rates typically less than 0.5cm/year. It is well adapted to shallow turbid waters however, and is able to switch between autotrophic and heterotrophic modes of feeding as environmental conditions change.

Web resources


  • Alvarez-Noriega, M., A.H. Baird,2, M. Dornelas, J.S. Madin, V.R. Cumbo, and S.R. Connolly (2016). Fecundity and the demographic strategies of coral morphologies, Ecology, 97(12): 3485-3493. LIRS catalog number 2048.
  • Alvarez-Noriega, M., A.H. Baird, M. Dornelas, J.S. Madin and S.R. Connolly (2018). Negligible effect of competition on coral colony growth. Ecology, 99 (6): 1347-1356. LIRS catalog number 2239.
  • Anthony, K.A.C. and K.E. Fabricius (2000). Shifting roles of heterotrophy and autotrophy in coral energetics under varying turbidity, Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 252: 221-253.
  • View all references