Lamarck, 1816, p. 252

Type Species

Echinopora rosularia Lamarck, 1816, p. 253; Original Designation Lamarck, 1816, p. 252

Type Specimen: Holotype; MNHN IK-2010-635; Verified; Dry Preserved

Type Locality: 'les mers de la Nouvelle-Hollande' (Lamarck, 1816, p. 254) (Recent)




Colonial, with extracalicular budding only. Corallites monomorphic and discrete (1–3 centers); monticules absent. Coenosteum generally spinose (costate in E. mammiformis), extensive amount (≥ corallite diameter). Generally, calice width medium (4–15 mm), with low relief (< 3 mm). Costosepta not confluent. Septa in 3 cycles (24–36 septa). Free septa regular. Septa spaced >11 septa per 5 mm. Costosepta unequal in relative thickness. Columellae trabecular and spongy (> 3 threads), ≥ 1/4 of calice width, and discontinuous among adjacent corallites. Paliform (uniaxial) lobes weak or moderate. Epitheca well developed and endotheca low-moderate (tabular). Tooth base at mid-calice circular. Tooth tip at mid-calice irregular; tip orientation multiaxial. Tooth height low (< 0.3 mm) and tooth spacing medium (0.3–1 mm), with > 6 teeth per septum. Granules scattered on septal face; irregular in shape. Interarea smooth. Walls formed by partial septotheca; abortive septa weak. Thickening deposits fibrous. Costa center clusters weak; 0.3–0.6 mm between clusters; medial lines weak. Septum center clusters weak; < 0.3 mm between clusters; medial lines weak. Transverse crosses absent. Columella centers clustered.


'Polypier pierreux, fixé, aplati et étendu en membrane libre, arrondie, foliiforme, finement striée des deux côtés. La surface supérieure chargée de petites papilles, et, en outre, d'orbicules rosacés, convexes, très-hérissés de papilles, percés d'un ou deux trous, recouvrant chacun une étoile lamelleuse. Étoiles éparses, orbiculaires, couvertes; à lames inégales, presque confuses, saillantes des parois et du fond, et obstruant en partie la cavité.' (Lamarck, 1816: 252)


This genus is one of the most distinct and well-defined genera in Merulinidae. Synapomorphies inferred are large columellae, extensive coenosteum and weak abortive septa. The latter two features distinguish Echinopora from the closely-related genera of Cyphastrea, Paramontastraea and Orbicella. Large columella is only shared with Orbicella among all Merulinidae taxa. Data is available only for six of the 13 species; the genus requires substantial additional sampling, particularly for the recently-described species. None of the species described in Veron (2000) has been placed on the phylogeny.


Echinopora Lamarck, 1816: 252 is a relatively large genus, with four new species only recently described (Veron, 2000). It was first described as having an upper surface filled with small papillae—'la surface supérieure chargée de petites papilles' (Lamarck, 1816: 252)—a plesiomorphic trait shared with Cyphastrea. Together with Paramontastraea and Orbicella, these taxa have been consistently recovered at the base of the tree, either as paraphyletic (Huang et al., 2011; Huang, 2012), or as a sister clade to the rest of Merulinidae (Arrigoni et al., 2012). The latter hypothesis appears to be more well supported with molecular data, and it also corresponds to the morphological tree topology obtained here. It should be noted that the type species of Echinopora is E. rosularia Lamarck, 1816: 253, which has been synonymized as E. lamellosa (Esper, 1795: 65; Ranson, 1943: 118). The latter's holotype is lost (Chevalier, 1975: 70; Scheer, 1990: 398), but Lamarck's holotype of E. rosularia (MNHN IK-2010-635) should still be considered the type for this genus.


  • Southeast Asia; Miocene - Pliocene
  • South Asia; Miocene
  • Micronesia; Miocene
  • Southeast Asia; Miocene
  • North Africa, Southeast Asia; Pliocene - Pleistocene
  • North Africa; Pliocene
  • Melanesia; Pliocene
  • West Asia; Pliocene
  • Southeast Asia; Pliocene
  • North Africa; Pleistocene
  • Subsaharan Africa; Pleistocene
  • East Asia; Pleistocene
  • Australasia; Pleistocene
  • Melanesia; Pleistocene
  • Southeast Asia; Pleistocene
  • Indian Ocean; Recent
  • Western Pacific; Recent
  • Central Pacific; Recent
  • South Asia; Holocene
  • East Asia; Holocene
  • West Asia; Holocene
  • West Indian Ocean Islands; Holocene
Source: Paleobiology database (5/26/12), Veron (2000). Historical distribution: Miocene-Recent., IndoPacific (Wells, 1956). Distribution compiled by Matthew Tibbits. Recent: Echinopora is widely distributed on reefs of the Indo-Pacific, present as far east as the Tuamotu Archipelago in the southern hemisphere (Glynn et al., 2007), but absent eastwards from Hawai'i in the north.

This page has been in preparation since 19-Jul-2010 02:44

This version was contributed by Danwei Huang on 05-Feb-2014 19:27.

Page authors are: Ann Budd Danwei Huang. Please contact the editor if you would like to contribute to the diagnosis of this taxon.

The editor is: Ann Budd

Holotype of Echinopora rosularia Lamarck
Holotype of Echinopora rosularia Lamarck, 1816