Fox coral (Nemenzophyllia turbida)

loading
Fox coral colony
loading
Loading more images and videos...

Fox coral fact file

Fox coral description

KingdomAnimalia
PhylumCnidaria
ClassAnthozoa
OrderScleractinia
FamilyEuphyllidae
GenusNemenzophyllia (1)

The grey-coloured fox coral (Nemenzophyllia turbida) is the only species in the genus Nemenzophyllia. Large coral colonies are composed of many coral polyps. The coral polyp is basically an anemone-like animal that secretes a skeleton, at the base of which it joins together with other polyps. The polyps of the fox coral possess fleshy mantles that form a continuous cover over the colony, which may be several meters across. The mantles are grey, sometimes with pale margins (1).

Also known as
jasmine coral, ridge coral.
Synonyms
Plerogyra turbida.
Top

Fox coral biology

Like other reef-building corals, fox coral polyps have microscopic algae (zooxanthellae) living within their tissues. Through photosynthesis, these symbiotic algae produce energy-rich molecules that the coral polyps can use as nutrition. In return, the coral provides the zooxanthellae with protection and access to sunlight (1)

Top

Fox coral range

Fox coral occurs on reefs surrounding Malaysia, Indonesia, Philippines and the north of New Guinea, where it is a rare but conspicuous species (1).

See this species on Google Earth.

Top

Fox coral habitat

Top

Fox coral status

Fox coral is classified as Vulnerable (VU) on the IUCN Red List (2), and listed on Appendix II of CITES (3).

IUCN Red List species status – Vulnerable

Top

Fox coral threats

Fox corals face the many threats that are impacting coral reefs globally. It is estimated that 20 percent of the world’s coral reefs have already been effectively destroyed and show no immediate prospects of recovery, and 24 percent of the world’s reefs are under imminent risk of collapse due to human pressures. These human impacts include poor land management practices that are releasing more sediment, nutrients and pollutants into the oceans and stressing the fragile reef ecosystem. Over fishing has ‘knock-on’ effects that results in the increase of macro-algae that can out-compete and smother corals, and fishing using destructive methods physically devastates the reef. A further potential threat is the increase of coral bleaching events, as a result of global climate change (4). Fox corals may also potentially be threatened by the coral trade, as it is one of the ten genera most frequently traded live for use in aquariums (5).

Top

Fox coral conservation

Fox corals are listed on Appendix II of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which means that trade in this species should be carefully regulated (3). Indonesia has export quotas in place for this species (3). Fox corals will form part of the marine community in many marine protected areas (MPAs), which offer coral reefs a degree of protection, and there are many calls from non-governmental organisations for larger MPAs to ensure the persistence of these unique and fascinating ecosystems (4).

View information on this species at the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre.
Top

Find out more

For further information on this species see Veron, J.E.N. (2000) Corals of the World. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Australia.

For further information on the conservation of coral reefs see: 

Top

Authentication

This information is awaiting authentication by a species expert, and will be updated as soon as possible. If you are able to help please contact:
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

Top

Glossary

Colony
Relating to corals: corals composed of numerous genetically identical individuals (also referred to as zooids or polyps), which are produced by budding and remain physiologically connected.
Photosynthesis
Metabolic process characteristic of plants in which carbon dioxide is broken down, using energy from sunlight absorbed by the green pigment chlorophyll. Organic compounds are made and oxygen is given off as a by-product.
Polyp
Typically sedentary soft-bodied component of Cnidaria (corals, sea pens etc), which comprise of a trunk that is fixed at the base; the mouth is placed at the opposite end of the trunk, and is surrounded by tentacles.
Symbiotic
Describing a close relationship between two organisms. This term usually refers to a relationship that benefits both organisms.
Top

References

  1. Veron, J.E.N. (2000) Corals of the World. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Australia.
  2. IUCN Red List (February, 2011)
    http://www.iucnredlist.org/
  3. CITES (July, 2007)
    http://www.cites.org
  4. Wilkinson, C. (2004) Status of Coral Reefs of the World. Australian Institute of Marine Science, Townsville, Australia.
  5. Green, E. and Shirley, F. (1999) The Global Trade in Corals. World Conservation Press, Cambridge, UK.
X
Close

Image credit

Fox coral colony  
Fox coral colony

© Eric H. Borneman

Eric H. Borneman
arkive@wildscreen.org.uk

X
Close

Link to this photo

ARKive species - Fox coral (Nemenzophyllia turbida) Embed this ARKive thumbnail link ("portlet") by copying and pasting the code below.

Terms of Use - The displayed portlet may be used as a link from your website to ARKive's online content for private, scientific, conservation or educational purposes only. It may NOT be used within Apps.

Read more about

X
Close

MyARKive

MyARKive offers the scrapbook feature to signed-up members, allowing you to organize your favourite ARKive images and videos and share them with friends.

Play the Team WILD game:

Team WILD, an elite squadron of science superheroes, needs your help! Your mission: protect and conserve the planet’s species and habitats from destruction.

Conservation in Action

Which species are on the road to recovery? Find out now »

This species is featured in:

This species is affected by global climate change. To learn about climate change and the species that are affected, visit our climate change pages.

Help us share the wonders of the natural world. Donate today!

Blog RSS