Almost four years ago we shared with you the discovery of a Pacific Elkhorn Acropora coral; today we can tell you about finding and seeing this coral for ourselves and boy does it look a lot like its Caribbean counterpart. The only pictures of the Pacific Elkhorn Acro didn’t show much detail, only a general elkhorn shape to the overall colony but now we’ve got a crop of our own pictures of this striking coral and you can see how this coral stands out.
Initially we believed the Pacific Elkhorn would probably be simply a unique form of some other Acropora species that tend towards this robust shape like A. robustus, A. abrotanoides or A. pinguis. Having seen this species for ourselves we feel strongly that the Pacific Elkhorn Acro is probably a new species, but the confirmation will have to come from the professional coral taxonomists.
Unfortunately, like the legendary Caribbean Elkhorn Acro, the unique branching shape is all that the Pacific Elkhorn has going for it, with not a hint of color, just a nice solid shade of tan. But what it lacks in the chromatic department the Pacific Elkhorn more than makes up for in a very beautiful colony shape that stands out on even these crowded reefs of Kwajalein Atoll. Some colonies tend towards regular compact cylindrical branches that fuse at the base while others actually look almost like Acropora palmata has been suddenly transplanted to the other side of the world from its natural range.