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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Annelida
Class: Polychaeta
Order: Canalipalpata
Family: Serpulidae
Subfamily: Serpulinae
Genus: Galeolaria
Lamarck, 1818

2; see text

Galeolaria is a genus of tube-building annelid fanworms in the family Serpulidae, found from southern Queensland, to southern Australian shores, to Western Australia.


The body is symmetrical, with a branchial crown made up of two lobes, one holding a stalked operculum. The operculum is winged with spines. The operculum seals the tube when the animal retreats into its tube. The tentacles of the branchial crown are used as gills and as a way of capturing food.

Galeolaria build and live within white to grey calcareous tubes, up to 3 cm in length. These tubes may be found singly or in complex interwoven colonies, forming a distinctive zone at the mid tidal regions. They may be so thick and dense that they form a microhabitat for many other creatures. When expose to air at low tide, these animals retreat within their tubes.


A distinctive zone-forming species with its upper limit at the lowest neap water high-water mark. Isolated tubes may be found at any level, even above the highest tide, only being wetted by spray.


The genus contains two described species:


  • Galeolaria is also known as "Sydney Coral".
  • Bennett, I. (1987) W.J. Dakin's classic study: Australian Seashores. p.194-5, Angus & Robertson, Sydney.
  • Davey, K. (1998) A Photographic Guide to Seashore Life of Australia. p.38, New Holland, Sydney.
  • Edgar, G.J. (1997) Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. p.162, Reed Books, Kew.
  • Quinn, G.P., Wescott, G.C. & Synnot, R.N. (1992) Life on the Rocky Shores of South-Eastern Australia: an illustrated field guide. p.33, Victorian National Parks Association, Melbourne.
  • Shepherd, S.A. & Thomas, I.M. (1982) Marine Invertebrates of Victoria, Pt. 1. p.291, South Australian Government Printer, Adelaide.
  • Underwood, A.J. & Chapman, M.G. (1993) Seashores: a beachcomber's guide. p.38, New South Wales University Press, Sydney.