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21. Turbinaria bifrons


Turbinaria bifrons is a reef building coral whose colonies are formed of numerous, folded plates.

This species can reach a metre in length and larger colonies tend to have an increasingly contorted structure to their plates. Unusually for its genus, Turbinaria bifrons colonies are bifacial, meaning that fleshy coral polyps extend from both faces of the colonies plates to feed.

Turbinaria bifrons’ specific population trends are unknown however it is thought to be declining along with many other coral species on reefs around the world as it suffered extensive bleaching and high mortality during the 1998 global bleaching event.

  • Order: Scleractinia
  • Family: Dendrophylliidae
  • Trend: unknown
  • Depth Range (m): 2 - 25

EDGE Score

EDGE Score: 4.22 (?)
ED Score: 16.05 (?)
GE / IUCN Red List (?)
Not Evaluated Data Deficient Least Concern Near Threatened Vulnerable Endangered Critically Endangered Extinct in the Wild Extinct


This species is found in shallow, tropical waters across the central and west Indo-Pacific, off the tropical shores of Australia and north to the South China Sea.

Habitat and Ecology

T.bifrons prefers shallow and rocky foreshores and subtropical locations where their maximum colony size is approximately 1m in diameter.

Turbinaria corals are an  ecologically important species which provide significant proportions of the benthic cover on many reef habitats. In reef building, or scleractinian corals, individual polyps sequester and excrete calcium carbonate as an external skeleton for protection. Specific oceanic conditions are required for polyps to synthesize and exude calcium carbonate.

Find out more

This wordcloud illustrates the threats facing this species. The size of each word indicates the extent of a species range that is affected by that threat (larger size means a greater area is affected). The colour of the word indicates how much that threat impacts the species (darker shades of red mean the threat is more severe).

Urban development Industrial development Tourism Extreme temperatures Extreme weather Shipping Fishing Recreation Invasive species Native species Wastewater Industry Agriculture Air pollution

Threat wordcloud key:

Small area affected
Large area affected
Least severe
Most severe
Severity unknown
Source: The IUCN List of Threatened Species. Version 2017.1.
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