We’ve always kinda had a thing for unusual, cryptic or otherwise obscure stony corals and it makes us sincerely smile to see another organization put together a top ten list in this regard. The EDGE of Existence Program is aimed at identifying Evolutionary Distinct & Globally Endangered (EDGE) plants and animals. Particularly, EDGE looks for animals who’s history have a unique evolutionary past; it’s just a nice way of saying these corals are freaks.
Very recently, EDGE launched a Coral Reefs campaign which has already identified ten of the weirdest and most wonderful coral species on Earth. Acropora palmata was an obvious one, three of them are common aquarium corals and the rest are clearly unique from our aquaristic perspective.
The aquarium favorites include the long tentacle plate coral Heliofungia, elegance coral Catalaphyllia and pearl bubble coral Physogyra. Some other corals you may not have heard of are Dichocoenia and Dendrogyra from the Caribbean and Horastrea, Parasimplastrea, Anomastrea and Ctenella.
Those last four coral species only occur in the Western Indian Ocean and are therefore not collected for the aquarium trade, which perhaps is for the best since these seem to be rare species in their habitat. Be sure to check out the top ten EDGE coral species page for some pictures of corals you’ve probably never heard of. Our favorite is probably Horastrea indica which is just downright odd looking in a Moseleya latistella kind of way.