Pavona (coral)

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Potato Chip Coral (Pavona cactus) - GRB.jpg
Potato chip coral (Pavona cactus)
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Hexacorallia
Order: Scleractinia
Family: Agariciidae
Genus: Pavona
Lamarck, 1801[1]
See text
  • Lophoseris Milne Edwards & Haime, 1849
  • Pavonia Lamarck, 1801 [lapsus]
  • Polyastra Ehrenberg, 1834
  • Pseudocolumnastrea Yabe & Sugiyama, 1933
  • Tichoseris Quelch, 1884

Pavona is a genus of colonial stony corals in the family Agariciidae. These corals are found in shallow waters in the Indo-Pacific region.


Corals in this genus have a range of different forms including those that are massive, meandering, columnar, leaf-like, and plate-like. A single species may vary in form according to the current, wave action, lighting conditions, and depth of its location. Members of the genus are distinguished from other corals by having no walls to the corallites, but having clearly delineated septocostae that connect each corallite to its neighbours, giving a flower-like pattern on the surface of the coral. The corallites themselves are shallow depressions with central columella and may be separated by ridges. The polyps, with the exception of Pavona explanulata, are only extended at night. The foliose and plate-like forms tend to be two-sided.[1][2] If they do not get enough nutrients or “food” from photosynthesis they switch to the autotrophic mode, and obtain some of their nutrition from their symbiotic algae. They can also absorb nutrients from uptaking dissolved organics from the water and even using carbon dioxide to turn it in organic carbon sources they can feed on.[3]


The World Register of Marine Species recognises these species:[1]


  1. ^ a b c Martinez, Olga (2012). "Pavona Lamarck, 1801". WoRMS. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2013-01-23.
  2. ^ "Pavona". Coral Hub. CICBP. Archived from the original on 2013-04-16. Retrieved 2013-01-23.
  3. ^ "Pavona Coral - Cactus Coral - Many Images". REEF2REEF Saltwater and Reef Aquarium Forum. Retrieved 2018-11-08.