You know that coral we’ve been calling Scolymia for all these years? Well it turns out it’s not a Scolymia at all but a member of it’s own genus, Acanthophyllia. There has been confusion surrounding the true taxonomic identity of this coral for years and now the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is stepping in to help us make the decision.
The meat coral aka button coral aka Scolymia coral will now be officially recognized as Acanthophyllia deshayesiana but since there are no CITES permits for this new designation, there will be a temporary suspension on the importation of this species until new permits can be issued with the proper designation.
As far as we know, CORALidea is the only coral identification guide to already list Acanthophyllia as such but it will be a while before other in-print publications will have a chance to catch up. So tell your neighbours, tell your LFS, Indo-Pacific Scolymia is now Acanthophyllia deshayesiana. We’ll be keeping an eye on the local stock of Acanthophyllia to see how it is affected and we’ll let you know when the imports of the meat coral resume.