Schizoculina fissipara and S. africana are two West African coral species that are brand new to the aquarium trade. Like so many other new coral and fish species LiveAquaria was first to the scene when they offered the unique S. fissipara for sale for the first time this weekend; the 2.5″ colony quickly sold at $99.
Schizoculina is in the family Oculinidae which also includes Oculina and Galaxea but we don’t expect the West African species to have sweepers anywhere near the length of Galaxea. Although Schizoculina is a photosynthetic species, like several of the mound forming stonies in the Caribbean this species will likely need a generous helping of meaty particulate food to grow at an appreciable rate. But wait, there’s more as the offering of these West African stony corals will likely be followed y the importation of other stony coral species from the region such as Astrangia, Dendrophyllia, Madracis and Montastrea species which also come from that area.
We wish that Coral Geographic was already up and running as that would make it easier to see what other coral species occur in the West African region. The blueish corallites of this Schizoculina specimen greatly resembles the closely related Arcohelia from Australia but we hope to see this West African species more frequently available.