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Cynarina

Cynarina is a coral genus of LPS. They are solitary living single polyps, which usually can show a strong tissue expansion. Cynarina can massively expand their tissue, sometimes reaching up to 35 cm in diameter, while their skeleton only grows to about 15 cm. Fortunately, they sting only weakly, so that other corals are seldomly endangered; however, one should watch out for the Cynarina. The sharp skeleton can partially puncture the tissue if the coral is exposed to greater stress, for example during transport - but it often heals quickly.

There is disagreement about how many species actually exist - the teardrop coral Cynarina lacrymalis is the only confirmed species, while the other representatives of the genus like Cynarina deshayesiana or Cynarina macassarensis are often classified only as subspecies or variants of them, depending on the author's whims. A famous example is Acantophyllia, which today is considered a synonym of Cynarina lacrymalis and differs from it by more opaque tissue. The genus is also often confused with Scolymia/Homophyllia because it has a similar solitary lifestyle. The distribution range extends from the Red Sea across the Indo-Pacific to Indonesia and Australia.

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