Definition of Scleractinia in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˌsklirakˈtinēə/
An order of coelenterates that comprises the stony corals. Also called Madreporaria.
Example sentences
  • These include some Foraminiferida, Hydrozoa and Scleractinia, Bryozoa, Brachiopoda, Pelecypoda, Polychaeta, and Cirripedia.
  • There is an emerging consensus that order Actiniaria (sea anemones) forms a monophyletic sister group to a clade comprising orders Scleractinia, Corallimorpharia, and Antipatharia, each of which appears to be monophyletic.
  • Interestingly, the dominant modern coral group, the Scleractinia, took off at about the same time the dinoflagellates did.



noun& adjective
Example sentences
  • In any case, most if not all Triassic scleractinians, whether zooxanthellate or not, show skeletal construction different from modern (strictly post-Cretaceous) equivalents.
  • For example, fragmentation in scleractinian corals can reduce fecundity in polyps surrounding the damaged region or even entire coral colonies, by an unknown mechanism.
  • Changes in biomineralization styles that occur in skeletal ontogeny provide important clues about possible constraints on microstructural evolution of the scleractinian skeleton.


Modern Latin (plural), from Greek sklēros 'hard' + aktis, aktin- 'ray'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Scle·rac·tin·i·a

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.