When you have been in the hobby a long time, you tend to see a lot of the same things over and over again. I often become desensitized to some of the most beautiful fish in the world because I’ve seen them so many times over the course of 30 years (mandarin dragonets, for example). When something new comes along, it almost is immediately eye-catching. After all, it’s not that common to have a completely novel fish or coral emerge in the trade.
We are fortunate now to have a relative newcomer to the hobby available—the coral Leptoseris. The common name for Leptoseris is “wrinkle coral”; however, I have never heard anyone refer to it as such.
This is not the first time that Leptoseris has been seen. It has been imported for years. However, the colors of the available specimens in the past were somewhat unappealing, so they were thus ignored. Recently, some very colorful morphs have emerged and Leptoseris has taken center stage as one of the most desirable and highly sought-after corals.
The most popular and frequently requested by reef hobbyists is the Jack-o-Lantern color morph. It has bright yellowish-green polyps against an orange pinstriped body. The other color morph of Leptoseris is a golden variety. It has a distinctive orange body, but the fine striping on it actually looks like 24-carat gold when it fluoresces.
Hopefully in time, these corals will be more readily available as aquaculture efforts advance. Leptoseris is also easy to propagate. The coral heals quickly from cutting and encrusts onto its substrate. Once settled in, it tends to grow quickly.