MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Scarlet and gold star coral (Balanophyllia (Balanophyllia) regia)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

A brilliantly coloured solitary coral. Up to 48 short, stout, evenly tapering tentacles span about 25 mm and are arranged in groups of six around the mouth. The tentacles are a rich translucent golden yellow colour (the colour restricted to the nematocyst warts) and shade into a yellow, orange or scarlet disc. The calcareous exoskeleton (corallum) is broad and low, about 10 mm across but usually less in height. The corallum is porous, spongy in texture and fragile; less durable than in other British corals.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Found around the coast of south-west England, the Scilly Isles and south-west Pembrokeshire.

Global distribution

Frequent around the coasts of south west Europe from Brittany south to Gibraltar, the Mediterranean, Morocco and the Canary Isles.

Habitat

Found occasionally on the shore at extreme low water but more commonly in the shallow sublittoral down to 10 m in depth. Attached to rocks in surge gullies, caves or beneath overhangs.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • Polyps yellow or orange with up to 48 tentacles.
  • Tentacles yellow, without terminal knobs.
  • Coralla with porous, often spongy walls.
  • Septa arranged in Pourtales' plan producing a distinct six rayed effect in calyx.

Additional information

No text entered

Listed by

- none -

Further information sources

Search on:

Bibliography

  1. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  2. Manuel, R.L., 1988. British Anthozoa. London: Academic Press.[Synopses of the British Fauna, no. 18.]

  3. Moore, J., 2002. An atlas of marine Biodiversity Action Plan species and habitats and Species of Conservation Concern in Wales, 2nd edn. Report to the Countryside Council for Wales, CCW Contract Science Report no. 509.

  4. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: http://www.nbnatlas.org.  Accessed 01 April 2017

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Tyler-Walters, H., 2008. Balanophyllia (Balanophyllia) regia Scarlet and gold star coral. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1300

Last Updated: 17/04/2008