RSS Echinomorpha nishihirai is the latest wild chalice coral to be sighted

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

  1. MASA Admin

    MASA Admin Moderator

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    Echinomorpha nishihirai is a distinctive looking chalice coral which can be quite a showstopper. Often eclipsed by the much more readily available Echinophyllia, Oxypora and Mycedium chalice corals,*Echinomorpha is distinguished by a prominent, large central corallite and very few, widely spaced peripheral corallites – if any.

    Every time we see an*Echinomorpha coral, we have to do a double take and cross check it with other species of chalice corals which also can have a large central corallite, such as*Oxypora glabra and*Echinophyllia echinata. Although*Echinomorpha is a rarely seen coral which only sporadically appears in shipments of chalice corals, it seems that lately a sampling of stupendous colonies have appeared in the aquarium trade.*

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    LiveAquaria, Cherry Corals and some European vendors recently too k advantage of imports of some*Echinomorpha*colonies. LiveAquaria listed an amazing two-polyp colony of*Echinomorpha*in the Diver’s Den for $379 – this specimen is blue grey, about 3.5 inches across and dominated by two, large corallites with red oral discs. Cherry Corals’ Echinomorpha individual is a single blue grey corallite surrounded by a wide perimeter of skeleton covered with a beautiful veneer of blue and green-splashed tissue.

    Perhaps one of the reasons why the aquarium hobby hasn’t fully embraced and popularized the single species of*Echinomorpha*is that since it has very few corallites, the path to captive propagation is not as clear cut as with other chalice corals. With only a few single corallites per colony and a whole lotta tissue between them, it makes no sense to put an*Echinomorpha nishihirai under the bandsaw since you can only realistically turn a single beautiful colony into three or four fresh-cut mini colonies.*Because of its reduced propagation potential,*Echinomorpha nishihirai is a unique coral colony which is truly for the chalice coral collector. [AIMS]

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