Using this site

This site is presented as a resource for identification of hard corals in the Western Indian Ocean, comprising the East African coast, central islands and banks. Nevertheless, it has broader relevance to:

a) the entire Western Indo-Pacific Realm (Spalding et al. 2007, Obura 2012), including the Gulfs and Red Sea, and South Aisa region, and

b) the Central Indo-Pacific Realm in the eastern parts of the Indian Ocean. However, there are limited images from this broader range.

A full species list for the region, published in Obura (2012), with progressive additions to that dataset, is uploaded and can be seen in the "Working Taxonomy", separated into the main family-genus-species hierarchy at the top, and "pending taxa" at the bottom. As images and descriptions are added, individual species and genera are placed in correct systematic order, by family and genus. Those taxa that have not had images and descriptions added are pre-fixed with an asterisk (*) and are found either in the main hierarchy (with congeners that have been described), or are found under the "Pending taxa" menu item at the bottom of the taxonomy.

As far as possible, ongoing revisions to coral systematics are being incorporated as species are promoted from the "pending" to the current list. As a result, names in the main list should reflect the latest publications, while names in the "pending list" reflect old names, to be updated progressively.

The site is intended as a working site, so all comments are welcomed - as far as possible on the pages, but if not a principle comment form is available. If you have images that could be used, particularly showing different growth forms, or for species missing images, please also get in touch.

This is an ongoing project of CORDIO East Africa with the IUCN Coral Specialist Group, and supported by the Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association's (WIOMSA) Marine Science for Management programme (MASMA), in 2012-2013, and by CORDIO East Africa. For any comments and feedback, please contact dobura at

Scratchpads developed and conceived by (alphabetical): Ed Baker, Katherine Bouton Alice Heaton Dimitris Koureas, Laurence Livermore, Dave Roberts, Simon Rycroft, Ben Scott, Vince Smith