Heteropsammia cochlea   (Spengler,  1781) (Hard Coral)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Anthozoa

Shoe Coral (Heteropsammia cochlea),with a proboscis of a symbiotic sipunculid worm extended from the coral's base.

Image copyrights: Bishop museum

Color: Grey or brown.

Corals are solitary or form small colonies, and are free-living with one or two calices on a base that is flat or keeled according to the nature of the substrate. They have an obligate commensal relationship with a sipunculid worm (Aspidosiphon corallicola) and usually have one parasitic mussel (Lithophaga lessepsiana) embedded above the sipunculid. The sipunculid moves the coral about on soft substrates and prevents it from becoming buried. Corallites are round or laterally compressed, up to 25 mm in diameter., have well-developed septa which follow Pourtales Plan, broad, compact deep-seated columellae, and walls composed of porous coenosteum. Polyps are extended only at night. They are hermatypic in tropical localities, but are possibly ahermatypic in high latitude locations. Septa in 4 cycles. The primaries and secondaries along with the adjoining higher cycles from 12 elevations at top of thecal wall. Columella deep seated. Costae non recognisable.

Gonochoric, sexual, broadcast spawning.

Synonym (s)

Common Name (s)
• Button Coral (English)
• Smooth Bum Coral (English)
• Shoe Coral (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
Threats:  Natural threats, Anthropogenic
(Protected under Indian Wild Life Protection Act, 1972)

Habitat:  Reef Associated
Trophic Level:  Consumer
IUCN Status:  Least Concern


• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• South West Coast INDIA (Record: 1987-1989)
• Kerala, Off Kollam (Lat: 9.25) (Long: 76.5) INDIA (Record: 1987-1989)

Literature Source(s)
  • (2001) Invertebrate zoology collections Available at - http://goode.si.edu/mcs/iz/Query.php
  • UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre Available at - http://www.unep-wcmc.org/
  • Checklist of fish and invertebrates listed in the CITES appendices and in EC regulation no. 338/97 Available at - http://www.ukcites.gov.uk/pdf_files/FishInvertebrates6.pdf
  • Cairns, DS; Hoeksema, WB and Derland, JV (1999) List of extant stony corals Atoll Research Bulletin National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D. C, U. S. A 459 13-46 Available at - NIO, RC, Kochi
  • Allen, GR (2005) Reef fishes of northwestern Madagascar RAP Bulletin of Biological Assessment 31 39-48
  • Veron, JEN (1986) Corals of Australia and the Indo-Pacific University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu Available at - CMFRI, Kochi
  • Advanced Aquarist Available at - http://www.advancedaquarist.com/
  • Wafar, MVM and Wafar, S (2001) 101 questions on corals: Towards awareness National Institute of Oceanography, Goa and Administration of the U.T. of Lakshadweep 81 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Carpenter, KE; Abrar, M; Aeby, G; Aronson, RB; Banks, S et al. (2008) One third of reef building corals face elevated extinction risk from climate change and local impacts Science American Association for the Advancement of Science 321 125-126 Available at - http://sci.odu.edu/gmsa/about/Carpenter_corals_supplimental.pdf
  • Veron, JEN (2000) Corals of the world Australian Institute of Marine Science, Australia 2 429 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • Pillai, CSG (1969) Stony corals of the seas around India Proceedings of the Symposium on corals and coral reefs Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 191-216 Available at - NIO RC, Kochi
  • (2003) IUCN Red list of threatened species Available at - http://www.iucnredlist.org/
  • Indian Wild Life Protection Act, 1972
  • Bishop museum Available at - http://www.bishopmuseum.org/
  • Pillai, CSG and Jasmine, S (1995) Scleractinian corals of the erstwhile Travancore Coast (Southwest of India) Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The marine Biological Association of India 37 (1-2) 109-125 Available at - eprints.cmfri.org.in/634/1/Gopi_109-125.pdf

Page last updated on:2012-02-16

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