Corallimorpharia is an order of marine cnidarians closely related to stony or reef building corals (Scleractinia). They occur in both temperate and tropical climates, although they are mostly tropical. Temperate forms tend to be very robust, with wide and long columns, whereas tropical forms tend to have very short columns with a wide oral disc and very short tentacles. The tentacles are usually arranged in rows radiating from the mouth. Many species occur together in large groups, although there are recorded instances of individuals. In many respects, they resemble the stony corals, except for the absence of a stony skeleton. Morphological and molecular evidence suggests that they are very closely related to stony corals.

Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Cnidaria
Class: Anthozoa
Subclass: Hexacorallia
Order: Corallimorpharia
Stephenson, 1937[1]
  • Coralliomorpharia

Corallimorpharians occur in a wide range of marine habitats, and can be associated with phase shifts in coral reef ecosystems that result in a change from a hard-coral dominated reef to a soft-coral dominated one. They have been observed to overgrow reefs in a carpet formation. Many species are also common invertebrates kept in marine aquaria.


According to World Register of Marine Species, this order contains 46 species within 11 genera:


  1. ^ "Corallimorpharia". Integrated Taxonomic Information System. Retrieved 2011-12-15.
  2. ^ WoRMS (2011). "Corallimorpharia". WoRMS. World Register of Marine Species. Retrieved 2011-12-15.

External linksEdit

  Data related to Discosomatidae at Wikispecies