Scheer and Pillai, 1983, p. 104

Type Species

Erythrastrea flabellata Scheer and Pillai, 1983, p. 104, pl. 26, figs. 3,4; Original Designation Scheer and Pillai, 1983, p. 104

Type Specimen: Lectotype; USNM 78094; Verified; Dry Preserved

Type Locality: Ghardaqa, Egypt (Recent)

Scheer and Pillai (1983) list specimens Wa 75a,b (USNM) and NS 6062 and 6063 (Tel Aviv) as paratypes; however, there is no mention of a holotype. Cairns (1991) lists a paratype (USNM 78094) of Erythrastrea flabellata at the US National Museum of Natural History, and provides remarks regarding authorship of this genus and type species. We have been able to locate this specimen but not 'T. Aviv NS 6062, 6063'. Since no holotype has been specified, USNM 78094, NS 6062 and NS 6063 can be considered as a syntype series, from which Huang et al. (2014) designated the USNM specimen as lectotype for E. flabellata.



Colonial, with intracalicular budding only. Corallites monomorphic and uniserial; monticules absent. Phaceloid. Calice width medium (4–15 mm), with medium relief (3–6 mm). Septa in 3 cycles (24–36 septa). Free septa present but irregular. Septa spaced < 6 septa per 5 mm. Costosepta equal in relative thickness. Columellae trabecular and spongy (> 3 threads), < 1/4 of calice width, and continuous among adjacent corallites. Paliform (uniaxial) and septal (multiaxial) lobes may be present but weak. Epitheca reduced or absent and endotheca abundant (vesicular).


'Phaceloid, branches flabellate, compressed, epithecate. Wall thin. Calices meandering, valleys short or long and sinuous, 5 to 10 mm wide, 4 to 5 mm deep. Columella centres distinct, formed of septal fusion, adjacent ones linked by indistinct lamellae. Septa exsert vertically, edges dentate. Costae very conspicuous, extend to the base of the flabellate branches, often linked by transverse ridges.' (Scheer and Pillai, 1983: 104)


Erythrastrea has never been collected for molecular work or subcorallite morphology, and only macromorphological characters has been examined. Veron, 1986: 595 described the genus as similar to Caulastraea based on 'skeletal structures', and is also like Trachyphyllia (and Nemenzophyllia) because of the flabello-meandroid colony form. Based on the holotype, we diagnosed Erythrastrea as matching in all but one character each with Caulastraea (discrete instead of uniserial) and Oulophyllia (fused walls instead of phaceloid), suggesting possible placement of the genus within subclade XVII-D/E (Caulastraea + Oulophyllia + Pectinia + Mycedium). It does not have the strong septal (multiaxial) lobes seen in Trachyphyllia, and their internal lobes are even weaker than in Caulastraea and Oulophyllia. A fine epitheca may be present—unlike in the latter genera—but the thin walls and phaceloid form are indicative of its close affinity to Caulastraea, as interpreted by Scheer and Pillai, 1983: 104.


Erythrastrea Scheer and Pillai, 1983: 104 is a monotypic genus that is known only from the Red Sea. In the original description of its species titled 'Erythrastrea flabellata Pichon, Scheer and Pillai, in press', the authors list as paratypes USNM Wa 75a, b collected from Ghardaqa, Egypt, and NS 6062, 6063 from Tel Aviv, Israel, without any mention of a holotype. Cairns, 1991: 33 explains that the paper cited was never published, stating that 'Both the generic and species descriptions of Scheer and Pillai (1983) satisfy the requirements of the Code and therefore should be considered as the original descriptions.' Furthermore, Cairns (1991) lists USNM 78094 as a 'paratype', in accordance with the original description.


  • Indian Ocean; Recent
Erythrastrea has only been recorded in northern and central Red Sea, and the Gulf of Aden.

This page has been in preparation since 17-Oct-2009 00:33

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

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

Paratype of Erythrastrea flabellata Scheer and Pillai