The red wagon wheel Fungia fralinae is a “new” coral strain which really caught us off guard, not only for its stunning beauty but also for its consistent appearance. The Fungia fralinae with the pattern like a red wagon wheel is characterized by having a crazy bright alternation of red and blue-white stripes, purple mouth, green tentacles and purple tentacle tips. Now normally a coral like that could lead to a bidding war in retailers and aquarists vying to acquire this masterful coral, but oddly enough a small handful of corals with this exact coloration appeared around the US in the span of about two weeks, with ‘enough’ to go around to many the diehard Fungiid coral collectors.
We saw no fewer than three of the red wagon wheel Fungia fralinae at World Wide Corals (one of which we acquired), one pictured by Route 66 Marine, another on the Diver’s Den, and one is still for sale at AquaSD and at Cherry Corals. Who knows how many more specimens went unaccounted for, but we imagine the Indonesian collectors who first found this color of Fungia fralinae might have discovered it living in a specific area where it was allowed to propagate asexually through the Phoenix Effect, where it thrived and became abundant in a particular region.
All f the “wagon-wheel” disc corals seen thus far were all specimens of Cycloseris species but unlike Cycloseris disc corals, this Fungia fralinae will grow very large, easily up to six inches in diameter, with most of the specimens of the red wagon wheel Fralinae spotted so far being already in the three to four inch range. Since Fungia fralinae takes very well to cutting and has very strong powers of regeneration, and perhaps the red wagon wheel Fungia fralinae has a chance to become the first captive strain of disc coral.