Fischer von Waldheim, 1807, p. 295

Type Species

Hydnophora demidovii Fischer von Waldheim, 1807, p. 295; Original Designation Fischer von Waldheim, 1807, p. 295

Type Specimen: Neotype; UPMSI P1L02157; Verified; Dry Preserved

Type Locality: Talim Bay, Batangas, the Philippines (Recent)

The holotype specimen is lost. It may be in Moscow; however, it has not been reported in the literature. Hydnophora demidovii is a junior synonym of Madrepora exesa Pallas, 1766, p. 290-291.




Colonial, with intracalicular budding only. Corallites monomorphic and uniserial; monticules present. Walls fused. Calice width small to medium (≤ 15 mm), with low to medium relief (≤ 6 mm). Costosepta not confluent. Septa in < 3 cycles (< 24 septa). Free septa absent. Septa spaced 6–11 septa per 5 mm. Costosepta equal in relative thickness. Columellae trabecular but compact (1–3 threads), < 1/4 of calice width, and continuous among adjacent corallites. Paliform (uniaxial) lobes absent. Epitheca reduced and endotheca sparse. Tooth base at mid-calice circular. Tooth tip at mid-calice irregular; tip orientation perpendicular to septum. Tooth height low (< 0.3 mm) and tooth spacing narrow (< 0.3 mm), with > 6 teeth per septum. Granules aligned on septal face, perpendicular to septal margin; irregular in shape. Interarea palisade. Walls formed by dominant trabeculotheca and partial septotheca; abortive septa absent. Thickening deposits fibrous. Costa center clusters weak; < 0.3 mm between clusters; medial lines strong. Septum center clusters weak; < 0.3 mm between clusters; medial lines strong. Transverse crosses absent. Columella centers aligned.


'Polypier pierreux, crustacé, en masse glomérulée ou en expansions lobées, subfoliacées, ayant sa surface supérieure parsemée d'étoiles lamelleuses, à centre solide, pyramidal, et plus ou moins élevé.' (Fischer von Waldheim, 1807: 295)


On the morphology tree, Hydnophora is well supported and is sister to the clade formed by Australogyra, Leptoria and Platygyra. It is distinguished as the only scleractinian taxon to possess monticules. Other synapomorphies include the reduced epitheca, sparse endotheca and lack of free septa, all of which make the genus easily separable from its close relatives. Note, however, that the type material of H. grandis has relatively vesicular endotheca, although other specimens examined possess the generic state.


Unlike Milne Edwards and Haime (1849) and Vaughan (1918) among others, Matthai (1928) was able to track down a copy of Fischer (1807, vol. 3), and quotes Fischer's original description on p. 137 of Matthai (1928). Hydnophora Fischer von Waldheim, 1807: 295 is a distinct genus whose monophyly (subclade H) has been well supported by molecular data (Huang et al., 2011; Huang, 2012). Prior to Veron's (1986: 428, 2000, vol. 2: 364) placement of Hydnophora within Merulinidae, it was more often associated with Faviidae sensu Wells, 1956: F402 (see Vaughan and Wells, 1943: 169; Chevalier, 1975: 167; Veron et al., 1977: 124). Molecular phylogenies show that it is most closely related to Favites, Leptoria and Platygyra (Huang et al., 2011), or Astrea curta and Favites russelli (Arrigoni et al., 2012), and relatively distinct from Merulina and Scapophyllia, the other Merulinidae taxa before the revision of Budd et al. (2012). The genus is relatively well sampled. Only Hydnophora bonsai, a Japanese endemic (Veron, 1990: 141), has not been investigated in a phylogenetic context.


  • Western Europe; Late Cretaceous
  • Southern Europe; Late Cretaceous
  • Eastern Europe; Late Cretaceous
  • North America; Late Cretaceous
  • South Asia; Eocene
  • Caribbean; Eocene
  • Subsaharan Africa, Southeast Asia; Oligocene - Miocene
  • Southern Europe; Oligocene
  • North Africa; Oligocene
  • Subsaharan Africa; Oligocene
  • South Asia; Oligocene
  • Caribbean; Oligocene
  • Melanesia, Southeast Asia; Miocene - Pliocene
  • Southeast Asia; Miocene - Pleistocene
  • Western Europe; Miocene
  • Subsaharan Africa; Miocene
  • South Asia; Miocene
  • Melanesia; Miocene
  • Caribbean; Miocene
  • West Asia; Miocene
  • Southeast Asia; Miocene
  • East Asia; Pliocene
  • Melanesia; Pliocene
  • Southeast Asia; Pliocene
  • East Asia; Pleistocene - Holocene
  • North Africa; Pleistocene
  • Subsaharan Africa; Pleistocene
  • East Asia; Pleistocene
  • Australasia; Pleistocene
  • Melanesia; Pleistocene
  • West Asia; Pleistocene
  • West Indian Ocean Islands; Pleistocene
  • Southeast Asia; Pleistocene
  • Indian Ocean; Recent
  • Western Pacific; Recent
  • Central Pacific; Recent
  • East Asia; Holocene
  • Melanesia; Holocene
  • Micronesia; Holocene
Source: Paleobiology database (accessed 5/29/12), Veron (2000). Historical distribution: Cretaceous-Recent., Eurasia-West Indies-South America-IndoPacific (Wells, 1956). Distribution compiled by Matthew Tibbits. Recent: Hydnophora is widely distributed on reefs of the Indo-Pacific, present as far east as the Austral Islands 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 03:44

This version was contributed by Danwei Huang on 05-Feb-2014 22:31.

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

Neotype of Hydnophora exesa (Pallas, 1766, p. 290)