Australian Acropora echinata has to be one of the most iconic Acro and SPS corals of all time. Every die hard small polyp stony coral junky at one time or another has caught the site of one of these corals in a book and prayed to the reef gods to deliver this species unto us. With the LPS coral market fueling a brisk trade in Australian corals we have seen a few Aussie acros catching a ride with the much more valuable chalices and lords and scolies. At first the Aussie Acros were just very nice specimens of species that we could pick up any day of the week from Fiji or Tonga, but little by little, we have begun to see more specimens of iconic coral that so many of us longed for. The Australian Acropora echinata is substantially different from the Balinese A. echinata we have been growing for years The Aussie Echinata has a picture perfect bottlebrush shaped colonie that have an attractive blueish white interior with delicately colored blue-purple tips and some variations may have green tips and browner interiors as well. Since the reef hobby has substantially shifted towards lower energy reef tanks for LPS and Zoanthids, there isn’t nearly as much demand for choice acros as in the past and these Aussie Acro Echinatas are selling anywhere from $100 for medium sized pieces to $200 for colonies that are getting on very large size. Furthermore, whereas the finely bottlebrushed Acroporas previously imported from other regions tended to acclimate poorly and often die, it appears that Australian A. echinata is rather robust and settling well into a wide range of reef aquaria. Pictured above is a specimen that’s been enjoying artificial gyre flow for about two months now and it looks as good as it ever has. To the left is a snapshot of a grouping of relatively hardy Australian Acro echinatas at a popular Australian marinelife dealer.