This Echinophyllia species coral has one of the most bizare pigmentation patterns we
have ever seen in a Reef Building Stony Coral. The only word that seems to adequately
describe the pattern is 'Psychedelic'. This thick plating and massive Echinophyllia was
found by Eric Caamano of Fragfarmer.com . Eric
has the parent colony and Reeffarmers was able to acquire a couple of seed fragments of
this coral from Eric in a trade. Eric originally acquired the coral within a tranship
from Kupang during August 2005. Initially it did not have any intense pigmentation.
When placed under T-5's (weak light), the intense psychedelic pigmentation began to
develop. Eric currently maintains the parent colony under 250 watt 20K metal halides.
The base coloration of the coral is brown and turquoise, but in specific locations a more
bluish pigmentation can develop (note the area near the boring feather duster worm in the
above image). On top of this base pigmentation an intense bright red stripped pigmentation
has developed that radiates outward from corallite polyp mouths. Corallites
are randomly scattered around the coral and this gives the surface of the coral a bizare
almost psychedelic pattern of red stripes. Polyp mouths themselves are bright red and are
surrounded by bright red spots. This is truelly one of the most strangely pigmented corals
we have seen in captivity. The edge of the colony develops a more thin plating almost
chalice-like type of growth form. Steve Tyree is maintaining a farmed section of this
coral for reeffarmers.com in one of his 125 gallon naturally filtered Tri-Zonal Reef
Aquariums. In Steve's captive reef the coral is positoned to recieve moderate light levels
under a 400 watt 20,000 K Radium Metal Halide. It appears that the red stripped pigmentation
develops best under weak to moderate light levels. Pigmentation slightly fades under more
intense light levels. Please note - We retired the Psychedelic Echinophyllia in December 2008
because the coral was not growing long term in captivity. We are adding a new AE coral in
December 2008 similar to this coral that has shown long term growth in captivity. That coral
is called the Orion's Maze Chalice.
Echinophyllia sp. Psychedelic Chalice Fragfarmers Closeup.
Maintained under Weak to Moderate Light. Color Very Intense.