A new shallow water scleractinian coral species, Echinophyllia tarae sp. n., is described from the Gambier Islands, French Polynesia. It is characterized by an encrusting corallum, a few large and highly variable corallites with protruding walls, and distinctive costosepta. This coral was observed in muddy environments where several colonies showed partial mortality and re-growth. The new species has morphological affinities with both E. echinata and with Echinomorpha nishihirai, from which it can be distinguished on the basis of the diameter and the protrusion of the largest corallite, the thickness of the septa, and the development of the size of the crown of paliform lobes. © Francesca Benzoni.