Catalaphyllia jardinei is commonly called the Elegance coral, Elegant coral or Wonder coral; all three of which are appropriate common names because, to me, this is one of the most beautiful of the large, fleshy-polyped stony corals. Catalaphyllia is a monotypic genus, meaning it includes only a single species, Catalaphyllia jardinei. Catalaphyllia is a member of the Family Euphyllidae along with Euphyllia (Hammer, Anchor, Torch, Frogspawn), Nemenzophyllia (Fox) andPlerogyra (Bubble, Octobubble). Catalaphyllia distribution covers the west and central Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Catalaphyllia distribution covers the west and central Pacific including Australia, Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Maldives, Papua New Guinea, Philippines, Seychelles and Vietnam. Catalaphyllia are collected mainly from deep flats (greater than 120 feet) with sandy/silty bottoms, lagoons, seagrass beds and near shore mud flats.
Catalaphyllia jardinei is a colonial coral which may be free-living or attached. Its corallites are fused together in winding rows that are joined at the base of the colony. The rows are separated from each other (flabelloid or flabello-meandroid) with gaps between the walls. The free-living colonies are smaller, found on soft substrates with a V-shaped base and lack the elaborate meandroid features of the attached forms.