RSS A Plesiastrea by any other name, is an interesting and often amazing coral

Discussion in 'RSS Feeds' started by MASA Admin, 7 Mar 2012.

  1. MASA Admin

    MASA Admin Moderator

    Posts: 9,988
    8 May 2007
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    Plesiastrea versipora*is a very unique and unique-looking coral which is widespread in the Indo-Pacific Ocean. There is only one other species in the genus Plesiastrea, P. devantieri*but like Acanthastrea maxima, that species only comes from the Red Sea and surrounding waters. Plesiastrea*has small corallites for a Faviid, just a wee bit bigger than most Cyphastrea*species and it usually grows flat or semi lobed. The few colonies of Plesiastreawe we have come across all*exhibited*interesting and sometimes amazing coloration, unique among moon brains, and this colony of yellow and red Plesiastrea versipora is no exception.*

    [​IMG]PPE Chalice coral from Exotic Frags

    Unless you’re looking for it, a*Plesiastrea*coral will most often be misidentified as a*Cyphastrea,*as Mr. Limited Edition Coral himself has done with the incredible*Plesiastrea versipora*above that he calls the ‘Inferno Cyphastrea‘. The yellow and red*Plesiastrea*colony was imported by Oculus Aquatics where staff assigned this colony for propagation. Even without knowing exactly what it is,the*Inferno Plesiastrea*is clearly not your average small polyped moon coral.

    Compare the Plesiastrea to two other coral strains which have been grown in captivity for a little while, the PPE Chalice and Copperhead Cyphastrea. The PPE Chalice is believed to be a*Plesiastrea*since the original colony had a flat shape with semi-crowded corallites and a very unusual color pallette. Grown out frags of the PPE Chalice take on an even more un-Cyphastrea*like appearance.

    [​IMG]Copperhead Cyphastrea from World Wide Corals

    By contrast, World Wide Corals’ Copperhead Cyphastrea shares a similar color with Reef Farmers’ Inferno, but it has much more exert and conically shaped corallites, as would be expected of a good card-carrying specimen of the much more common genus of Faviids.

    Nothing makes us roll our eyes more than seeing a fairly common, abundant and unremarkable coral get earmarked for ‘Limited Edition’ stature (see the*Porites*parody*here). However in the case of the Inferno, we really have a thing for the seldom-seen*Plesiastrea versipora*as a coral and a species – this actually may be a case where the coral collectors may have*under-appreciated*what kind of stony coral they have on their hands.

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