RSS Route 66 Marine closes, leaves behind an incredible legacy of corals

MASA Admin

8 May 2007
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This weekend we learned the sad news that Route 66 Marine, a pioneer in coral-specific wholesaling, has closed its doors for business. The news came as a big surprise to those who knew Eric Camaano well, and to the many customers around the country who have relied on Route to ship them top-quality aquarium corals from all over the world.

It’s no secret that the marine aquarium business is a tough and rapidly changing one. With the hobby growing fast and the ways in which coral sellers reach their customers changing even faster, a multitude of reasons led to a challenging environment for Route 66 Marine to operate a purely coral dealing operation. While Route 66 will be missed, they created a blueprint for wholesale coral handling that is used by many companies around the world.

Rather than delving into why Route 66 Marine shut down, we’d rather celebrate the rich history of corals, and coral stories, that we’ve had the pleasure of sharing, courtesy of the efforts of Route 66 and the many people who’ve worked there since 2009. Without even knowing it, many of you might have corals in your tank that may have passed through the hands of the primary reefers of Route 66.

Route 66’s history reaches much deeper in the past with Eric Camaano being the O.G. Frag Farmer in the early 2000s, inheriting a fabulous coral catalog from Shawn Bennett that stretches back even longer. Here’s a brief recap of some of our favorite corals and coral stories that we know came from Route 66, and here’s to wishing Mr. Camaano and his staff all the best for the future.

One of the first and best “Inferno” Chalice corals was first imported to the U.S. by Route 66

There’s a wide variety of “Phoenix” montiporas available in the hobby today. This unusual form of red Montipora danae or M. palawanensis is a beautiful strain that was first obtained and cultured in the warehouse of Route 66

The orange beaded discosoma was one of the first “new” exciting strains of higher end, jawbreaker style mushroom anemones that we first documented at Route 66 Marine

This gorgeous colony of “deepwater” Acro is an Acropora elegans that was famously identified by Charlie Veron himself

Even the flowerpot corals had a turn in the spotlight thanks to this red branching goniopora that was imported and promoted by Route 66 Marine

This colorful trachie from Route 66 had a trifecta of color, pattern, size and shape.

Another “first” for Route 66 was in obtaining the super unusual Mini-Scolies from NorthWest Australia which are likely a new species, and share a lot similarities with Sclerophyllia from the Red Sea

The beauty of Route 66’s incredible scolies was not lost on other bloggers, with Brandon Klaus givng some props to this uncanny “Quad-Scolymia”

Route 66 Marine was right there when the Red Wagon Wheel Fungia fralinae corals fisrt hit the scene

The Kwajalein Purple Monster is an incredible coral from the coral farm at Kwajalein Marshall Islands. Since this coral came from a farm, Tyree might have missed the point of “limited edition”, but nevertheless, the existence of the Kwaj Purple Monster in the trade was part of the first shipment of corals from Kwajalein that Route 66 Marine brought in

Route 66’s exotic marinelife exploits was not limited to just soft and stony corals, as they also managed to get their hands on some beautiful Lennardi wrasses

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