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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Mushroom Coral Fungia scruposa

Mushroom coral is unusual in that it lives as a single individual rather than a colony. Juveniles start life as a small disk attached to dead coral or rock. By the time they reach about 1 in (4 cm) in diameter, they become detached. The animal feeds at night and the tentacles are withdrawn during the day, leaving the skeleton clearly visible, with the mouth at the center of the disk. The skeleton resembles the gills of a mushroom. Mushroom coral uses its tentacles to turn itself the right way up if it is overturned by waves.

Mushroom Coralzoom image
  • Class Anthozoa
  • Diameter Up to 1 in (2.5 cm)
  • Depth 0–80 ft (0–25 m)
  • Habitat Sediment and rubble
  • Distribution Tropical waters of Red Sea, Indian Ocean, and western Pacific
Mushroom Coral habitat mapzoom image