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Lobophyllia or Symphyllia

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tslawinski

Reef Doc
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Mar 31, 2004
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Cleveland area
Calling all gurus of coral identification. (Especially Anthony)
:D
Is there a reliable way of identifying a lobo vs. symphyllia, short of letting it die :eek: and examining the skeleton?
I have seen what I thought were lobophyllia labeled as Symphyllia and vice-a-versa. I was asked by another reefer and cannot give him a good answer.
 

tslawinski

Reef Doc
Joined
Mar 31, 2004
Messages
62
Location
Cleveland area
Here is a pic of what was labeled as a lobo (and I think it is), but, similar pics I have found on the boards label 'similar' specimens as a syphyllia.
 

tslawinski

Reef Doc
Joined
Mar 31, 2004
Messages
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Location
Cleveland area
Here are 2 quotes from Bob Fenner:

"Genus Lobophyllia Blainville 1830. Lobed/Flat Brain Coral. Sometimes massive colonies that tend to be dome-shaped. Flabello-meandroid or phaceloid. Large corallites with distinctive knobby, long septal teeth. Valleys (columellae) long and deep, often of contrasting lighter color. Tentacles typically light tipped".

"Genus Symphyllia, Milne Edwards and Haime 1848. Similar to Lobophyllias but with a groove that runs along the top of corallite walls that fuses contiguous corallites, whereas Lobos are free from each other".

Tom
 

NaH2O

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Jan 25, 2004
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I'll toss in a quote from "Aquarium Corals" by Eric Borneman, page 279

Identification: The genus Symphyllia is recognized by its prominent and wide valleys and dome-shaped or flattened meandroid growth shapes. These are heavy, massive corals that have a distinctly more sinuous appearance then Lobophyllia, though their polyp tissue is similarly "meaty." They are often referred to as dented brain corals because of prominent groove that often runs the length of corallite walls, usually visible even in well-expanded specimens. Another difference between Symphyllia and Lobophyllia is a lateral fusion between the corallite walls of the former. Some species have extremely wide valleys with prominent walls.
I'm not sure how obvious the groove is in all Symphyllia specimens, but it seems like this might serve as a good indicator.

The photos in our ID Gallery are helpful, too:

Here is a Symphyllia recta



Symphyllia wilsoni - again, note the groove.



Compare to Lobophyllia hemprichii



Hope this doesn't confuse us more.... :)
 

tslawinski

Reef Doc
Joined
Mar 31, 2004
Messages
62
Location
Cleveland area
NIKKI,
You have an uncanny way to make things clear... :)
I was confused by the 'groove' as it was described. Now I have seen the light... :idea:
It makes sense now.
Thank You
 

Anthony Calfo

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Feb 19, 2004
Messages
1,183
Location
Pennsylvania
I have nothing useful to add here other than to reinforce "look for the groove" on Symphyllia. Its rather obvious for most specimens we see in the trade/hobby.

Yet overall... more than a few Lobophyllia and Symphyllia look remarkably similar in color and form. As hobbyists, the point is moot as the handling/husbandry are the same... and we really have no practical means of definitively identifying most (live)corals to genus let alone species level. Seriously so. A majority of us/aquarists cannot distinguish between Xenia and Heteroxenia... or even Montipora from some Porites. And thats all OK :)

To be a good aquarist/farmer you need to know husbandry above all for these animals... then keep up with the "name of the week" as the academics change and regroup/classify these animals. Cladiella... Alcyonium... Klyxum.... arghhhh! Just pick a name and stick with it! :p

Glad I'm a hobbyist :)

Anth-
 

Anthony Calfo

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Feb 19, 2004
Messages
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Location
Pennsylvania
Ha! LOL

But is that the Spanish-feminine "Rosario"... or the Italian-masculine form of the name? Great... now we have to sex the coral :p

Either way, I'm sure you and I will stick with the names we give our corals longer than the taxonomists do :D
 
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