The LPS craze was fueled in part by beautiful and fleshy Blastomussa corals and now we are finding out there is a new member of this coral genus — the Blastomussa vivida. According to a new research paper published this week the new member joins B. merleti, B. wellsi, and B. loyae and differs from these by being an encrusting coral, having coralla with a cerioid corallite arrangement and much larger corallites.
Published this week in a paper titled “Phylogenetic relationships and revision of the genus Blastomussa (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Scleractinia) with description of a new species” in the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, the research team of Francesca Benzoni, Roberto Arrigoni, Zarinah Waheed, Fabrizio Stefani and Bert Hoeksema noted these corals exhibit an expanded polyp mantle that is fleshy with bright, vivid colors. Previously many of these corals were misidentified as B. wellsi, which has smaller corallites, less septa, and a phaceloid corallite arrangement. So there might be a chance you have one of these in your system and not even know it.
The coral can be found widespread in the Indo-Pacific and samples used in this report were from New Caledonia, northern Papua New Guinea, Sabah (northern Malaysia), Brunei Darussalam and the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia. The research team also noted records from Southeast Asia and the western Paci?c ranging from Japan, Vietnam, Indonesia, Philippines and Australia.
More information on corals is always appreciated and it will be interesting to see these species further described and identified in the aquarium community.