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Protopalythoa sp.

Button Polyp Anemone

Kirsten Schmidt (2013)



Fact Sheet



Physical Description


Life History & Behaviour

Anatomy & Physiology

Evolution & Systematics

Biogeographic Distribution

Conservation & Threats


Biogeographic distribution

Previous studies have illustrated that species within the genus Palythoa and Protopalythoa have a wide distribution, inhabiting coral reef intertidal areas across the world. For example, numerous studies have researched Palythoa and Protopalythoa species coming from the reef areas off Japan (Reimer et al. 2006; Reimer et al. 2007; Reft & Daly 2012) and the west coast of the United States (Reft & Daly 2012), while others have illustrated their presence off the coast of Brazil (Soares et al. 2011) and in the Caribbean (Reimer et al. 2012), as well as Hawaii (LaJeunesse et al. 2004) and the Great Barrier Reef off the east Australian coast (Davey 1998; Gosliner et al. 1996; Mather & Bennett 1994; Ryland & Lancaster 2003).

Due to the extremely high levels of biodiversity in the Indo-Pacific, including the Great Barrier Reef, and the ideal conditions they provide for coral reef formation and growth (Davey 1998; Gosliner et al. 1996; Mather & Bennett 1994), it comes as no surprise that these organisms thrive in this region. 
Map illustrating the distribution of coral reefs worldwide, where Protopalythoa species are known to inhabit. 
Map from Reef Relief Headquarters & Environmental Centre (2010).