CLASSIFICATION OF HELIOPORA
PHYLUM :- COELENTRATA (Tissue grade, diploblastic and acoelomate. )
CLASS :- ANTHOZOA OR ACTINOZOA (Only polypoid generation. sedentary, solitary, colonial.)
SUB-CLASS :- OCTOCORALLIA (Skeleton of calcareous fibres.)
ORDER :- CEONOTHOCELIA (Solenial tubes present. )
FAMILY :- HELIOPORIDAE
GENUS :- Heliopora
It is found on coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific ocean.
HABIT AND HABITAT
Heliopora is a marine sedentary coral.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF HELIOPORA
- Heliopora is the only blue coral among the coral reefs.
- It has a massive calcareous skeleton, composed not of spicules but of crystalline fibres of arragonite fused into lamellae.
- Skeleton is perforated by closely set cylindrical cavities of 2 kinds : (i) larger ones occupied by lower ends of polyps; and (ii) much more abundant smaller ones occupied by erect solenial tubes.
- Surface contains flat coenenchyme, which contains solenial network connected to middle region of the polyp and also with erect solenial tubes.
- Polyps and solenia are pushed upwards by the formation of calcareous partitions.
- Blue colour is due to the iron salts.
- Iron salts are concealed in life by the brown colour of the polyps.
- Heliopora have been found to exist since Cretaceous period.
- Vertical section shows mouth of expanded polyp having pinnately branched tentacles and theca.
The skeleton contains vertical solenial tubes and all above characters and hence it is Heliopora.