Red Epizoanthus are not new to the hobby, but it certainly has been a long time since we’ve seen them around. A few years ago the mainstream reefing crowd could have cared less about non-photosynthetic zoanthids but like the white Epizoanthus “Spider Sponges” from Australia, the Red Epizoanthus is likely to be very popular in the NPS and Azoox reefing scene.
The Red Epizoanthus is a colonizer of black corals and deepwater gorgonians, taking over these hapless corals and turning them into growing space unlike the more symbiotic white Epizoanthus of the spider sponge. Red “Epis” are collected near Cabo and La Paz Mexico where they prefer to grow at depth, in somewhat cooler waters but definitely avoiding the light parts of the reef. Cortez Marine manages to find some of the Red Epizoanthus in diving depth but they are not very common until you get to serious black coral habitat.
CM says that they’ve had some of these red Epizoanthus from previous shipments and still have some growing on the glass, noting that they eat well and open up in moderate lighting. If you’re interested in getting some Red Epis from Cortez Marine, send them an email via (clarionreef at aol dot com) and we can’t wait to see some red and white Epizoanthus growing together in someone’s Azoox or NPS reef tank.