Lophelia pertusa is a stony coral found in deep, dark waters. Thousands of polyps form the coral colonies which can develop large reef frameworks providing a home for many other animals – cold-water coral reefs are local centres of biodiversity.

The name Lophelia derives from the Greek lophos and helioi, 'a tuft of suns', referring to the individual sun-like coral polyps.


Recent genetic research has found that Lophelia pertusa is likely to be within a different taxonomic group known as Desmophyllum. Should this be the case, Lophelia pertusa is likely to have a name change to Desmophyllum pertusum. Scientists are still in the process of agreeing to this change so stay updated.