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A red mushroom coral
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Hexacorallia
Order: Corallimorpharia
Family: Discosomidae
Genus: Discosoma
Rüppell & Leuckart, 1828[1]

See text

  • Actinodiscus de Blainville, 1830[2][3]

Discosoma is a genus of cnidarians in the order Corallimorpharia. Common names for the genus include mushroom anemone, disc anemone and elephant ear mushroom.[4]

Most species are disc-shaped and produce large amounts of mucus.[4] There are a great variety of colors, including metallic and fluorescent shades and striped and spotted patterns.[4] Discosoma gather food particles from the water. Some species absorb nutrients produced by zooxanthellae, photosynthetic dinoflagellates living in their tissues in a symbiotic relationship.[4]

Some species are sold commercially in the aquarium trade.[4]

The red fluorescent protein dTomato which has applications in molecular biology as a reporter protein was first derived from the species.[5]

There are approximately 11 recognized species:[6]


  1. ^ "Discosoma Rüppell and Leuckart, 1828". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2011-12-18.
  2. ^ de Blainville, H. M. D. (1830). Dictionnaire des Sciences Naturelles (in French). Vol. 60. Strasbourg and Paris: F. G. Levrault. p. 287.
  3. ^ Harmin, Cha (2007). Systematics of the order Corallimorpharia (Cnidaria: Anthozoa). University of Kansas. pp. 83–85. ISBN 978-0-549-13246-2.
  4. ^ a b c d e Sprung, J. Aquarium Invertebrates: Mushrooms, Elephants Ears, And False Corals: A Review Of The Corallimorpharia. Advanced Aquarist Volume 1. October 2002.
  5. ^ Lambert, Talley. "dTomato at FPbase". FPbase. Retrieved 2019-03-27.
  6. ^ Fautin, D. G. (2013). Discosoma. World List of Corallimorpharia. Accessed through: World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) on 18 March 2018.