Tubastraea faulkneri,Orange Cup Coral

Chinese name: 福克纳管星珊瑚

Tubastraea faulkneri is an encrusting coral that can become massive and strongly convex. The corallites of this species are covered with a porous tissue (coenosteum) with a vermicular appearance.

The calices have a diameter of 8–10 mm (0.31–0.39 in) and a depth of 5–8 mm (0.20–0.31 in). They are spaced of 5–15 mm (0.20–0.59 in) and rise of 3–8 mm (0.12–0.31 in) above the coenosteum. The tentacles of the polyps are bright yellow-orange, while the coenosteum and the center of the polyps are deeper orange. The surface of the coenosteum is swollen between calices.

They have four cycles of septa, with almost vertical internal margins dropping steeply towards the columella. The third cycle of septa barely reaches the edge of the calice and the fourth cycle is weakly developed, often incomplete and irregularly fused in the third cycle. The columella is deep, spongy, and often slightly compressed.

This species is rather similar to Tubastraea coccinea, but the latter species lacks of spacing between the coralites and usually they are united only at the base, while in T. faulkneri there is clearly a space between the polyps.