Have you ever wondered why you’ve (most likely) never seen a Rhizotrochus typus available for sale at your LFS? The obvious reason is that their suppliers probably don’t have them because this coral species is simply not legal to collect, harvest or import into CITES participating countries, including the USA Go ahead, see if you can find any exportation quotas for ANY Rhizotrochus species, don’t worry, we’ll wait. “But Jake, I see them for sale all over the net” you’ll say and the reason that is is because once the illicit coral has cleared customs and entered the country, there are no laws governing the ownership and resale of this species; all of the regulation takes place on the front end of importation and once they are in the animals are free and clear. We’ve tried to inform some other blogs of the black market nature of these corals but our comments just get deleted and there seems to be a general distaste for even bringing up the legality of Rhizotrochus in the US aquarium trade. Since there are no CITES permits for the importation of Rhizotrochus into the US, Rhizos are intentionally shipped with paperwork for either Euphyllia or Catalyphyllia, Torch and Elegance corals, since these species can look very similar when their tissues are withdrawn. You know what that’s called? Smuggling. The only exception to the CITES permitting quota process is the country of Australia where exporters are alloted collection quotas based on tonnage. However, Rhizotrochus typus does not even occur in Australia so any vendor trying to pass off Aussie Rhizos is outright lying or misinformed.
Jake Adams has been an avid marine aquarist since the mid 90s and has worked in the retail side of the marine aquarium trade for more than ten years. He has a bachelor’s degree in Marine Science and has been the managing editor of ReefBuilders.com since 2008. Jake is interested in every facet of the marine aquarium hobby from the concepts to the technology, rare fish to exotic corals, and his interests are well documented through a very prolific career of speaking to reef clubs and marine aquarium events, and writing articles for aquarium publications across the globe. His primary interest is in corals which Jake pursues in the aquarium hobby as well as diving the coral reefs of the world.