The cavities both of the calices and coenenchymal tubes of Heliopora are closed below by horizontal partitions or tabulae, hence the genus was formerly included in the group Tabulata, and was supposed to belong to the madreporarian corals, both because of its lamellar skeleton, which resembles that of a Ma.drepore, and because each calicle has from twelve to fifteen radial partitions or septa projecting into its cavity.
(4) The columella, a structure which occupies the centre of the calicle, and may arise from the basal plate, when it is called essential, or may be formed by union of trabecular offsets of the septa, when it is called unessential.
The whole system of dissepiments in any given calicle is often called endotheca.
Tabulae are stout horizontal partitions traversing the centre of the calicle and dividing it into as many superimposed chambers.
When fully extended, the upper part of the zooid projects for some distance out of the calicle, and its wall is reflected for some distance over the lip of the latter, forming a fold of soft tissue extending to a greater or less distance over the theca, and containing in most cases a cavity continuous over the lip of the calicle with the coelenteron.