Taxonomic description and diagnosis
Colonies are massive or sub-massive, surface may be irregular, sometimes encrusting. Corallites are circular, plocoid about 3 mm exsert, to being sub-cerioid. Calices are 1.5-2.8 mm in diameter when corallites are matured. Septa are arranged in two very unequal, alternating orders, with 12 each. First order septa may plunge steeply or slope gently to the columella. They usually have irregular and elongate dentations, forming paliform lobes of a wide variety of shapes, varying from elongated pinnules to thick triangular wedges. Paliform crowns are usually developed. Second order septa are usually shorter than half the calice radius, and often become attached to the first order septa. Septa are all granulated on their margins and sides. Columella is inconspicuous and trabecular. Costae are poorly developed.
Living colonies display a wide range of colors, with no consistent trends in color variation. Dark colors are usually associated with low illuminations.
Colonies from exposed biotopes are sub-massive and dense, with large, rounded corallites, thick thecae, and a conspicuous paliform crown. Colonies from semi-protected biotopes are thinly encrusted, with conical, exsert, irregular corallites that are widely separated. Colonies from subtemperate biotopes are also thin and encrusting. Corallites have very granulated septa and thin, moderately exsert thecae.
Widely distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific from the Red Sea and east Africa to Easter Island.
Found in most coral reef environments.