Sandalolitha dentata, the Sandal Coral, can grow so huge that it may be the only coral brought up by a collecting diver, such as the story of how this one specimen was collected. Easily over 18 inches long (46cm), this sandal practically blew our mind when we first saw it at Global Oceanic Life.
The behemoth Fungiid is simply the largest free-living LPS we have ever seen offered in the aquarium trade, although similar species like Halomitra and Zoopilus can grow much larger still. We first noticed Sandalolitha dentata, specifically, while perusing the pages of Corals of the World where one specimen is pictured with noticeable green streaks (below).
The ginormous Sandal coral now residing at Global Oceanic Life is absolutely behemoth, with an incredible pattern to boot. Looking more or less like a twin of the original picture of Sandalolitha dentata that caught our eye, this sandal coral has the benefit of being displayed under fluorescence-popping blue LED light making this gargantuan Fungiid shine.
A similar species Sandalolitha robusta is infrequently encountered in the aquarium hobby, all of the specimens we have seen have been solid neon green, but not nearly as large as this particular novelty coral. At retail the giant sandal coral would sell easily in the four digits not just for it’s size and uniqueness, but particularly for the shipping it incurred while riding its own box all the way from Australia to the U.S.
The XXXL Sandal Coral is so large that we couldn’t do underwater/subsurface photography and capture the entire colony. Therefore the resulting images were made with a mix of ambient lighting and flash, resulting in two types of color balance in the images but trust us, this is one coral that nearly took our breath away and we hope it finds a great home in a huge tank in the future.