Torch Coral (Euphyllia glabrescens) – Beginner’s Guide

Torch Coral

Torch Coral is a stony coral with the scientific name Euphyllia glabrescens. It belongs to the Caryophylliidae family. This coral is big and has a lot of polyps.

The name ‘Torch Coral’ comes from the coral’s long, sweeping tentacles. These tentacles have powerful cells on the ends that look like torches.

People who love marine life and keep aquariums often have this coral. Especially, those from Indonesia and Fiji. In 2005, these countries exported 28000 and 6000 pieces of this coral, respectively.

What Does Torch Coral Look Like?

Torch Coral is a colonial coral. This means it lives in groups. It has a special formation of corallites called a phaceloid.

The corallites are round and are 20-30 millimeters in diameter. They are spaced 15-30 millimeters apart. The walls of the corallites are thin with sharp edges.

The polyps, which are a part of the coral, have large tubular tentacles with knob-like tips. This coral can be in different colors and often has contrasting tentacles and polyp tips.

How Does the Torch Coral Differ from Similar Species?

The Torch Coral is different from Euphyllia cristata as the latter has more compact corallites.

Euphyllia paraglabrescens has an almost identical skeleton to Torch Coral but they are not the same.

Heliofungia actiniformis has larger tentacles but they look similar to Torch Coral’s.

Where Can You Find the Torch Coral?

The Torch Coral is found in many parts of the world. It’s rare in the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.

But you can find Torch Coral in the northern Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf, the central Indo-Pacific, Australia, Southeast Asia, southern Japan, the East China Sea, Micronesia, and American Samoa.

Torch Coral lives at different depths, from 1 to 35 meters, in different reef environments.

What Are the Features of Torch Coral’s Habitat?

The Torch Coral can live in a wide range of reef environments. It can live in shallow waters to deeper places, from 1 meter to 35 meters deep.

This makes Torch Coral a very adaptable coral.

Even though Torch Coral is uncommon, it’s very noticeable due to its unique appearance. It’s especially rare in the Red Sea.

What Are the Key Characteristics of Torch Coral?

Here are the main characteristics of Torch Coral:

  • Colonies are phaceloid. That means they grow in a certain pattern.
  • Corallites are 20-30 millimeters in diameter and 15-30 millimeters apart.
  • The walls are thin, with sharp edges.
  • There are no columellae, or central columns, in the corallites.
  • Polyps have large tubular tentacles with knob-like tips.
  • It can be gray-blue to gray-green with cream, green, pink, or white tips to the tentacles.

These features make the Torch Coral a truly unique and fascinating species.

Torch Coral Characteristics


Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Euphyllia glabrescens
Also Known As:Torch Coral
Conservation Status:Near Threatened

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