There was a lot of news to come out of this last weekend’s Reefapalooza in Costa Mesa California but the coral heads were all talking about one thing: a single ginormous polyp of the infamous Bounce Mushroom sold for a staggering $6,000!
Measuring it an more than three inches across, this Mother Of All Bounce mushroom looked simply incredible. What makes the Bounce so interesting is its comically enlarged fluorescent vesicles which are neon orange with highlighter green highlights throughout its tissue. This particular bounce has vesicles so large that it looked like a ring of neon colored marbles sitting on top of a regular brown Rhodactis mushroom anemone.
The astronomical sum that was paid for this exceptionally large bounce mushroom was scored by Reefer’s Cove who purchased the single polyp only two weeks before for $3,000. It’s easy to think that the surging price of the bounce mushroom is due to limited supply, and indeed Bounce Shrooms grow slowly, but it’s the growing demand for this exceptional corallimorph strain which is driving up prices.
We believe that the huge price tag for the Bounce Mushroom was perhaps the single most expensive polyp of any reef animal ever sold in the aquarium hobby. This new record by the Bounce eclipses the previous Jawbreaker Discosoma as the king of mushroom anemones, and it easily unseats the Eclectus mushroom which made waves earlier this year. Six grand is also a lot more than the $2,425 that was paid for a few Krakatoa and Emperor Palythoa frags and it trounces the $400 Tush Hermit crab from Old Town Aquarium.
With so much attention currently being paid to Discosoma and Rhodactis it’s no wonder that the Shroom Room is one of the most popular Facebook groups for reef aquarists. High technology SPS reef keepers are slowly returning to their roots and trying their hand at growing and collecting the easiest reef animals again.
We for one celebrate the high price being paid for the Bounce Mushroom because this is one “coral” which really deserves the attention. Already we’re seeing a new surge in collectors searching for and finding specimens of Rhodactis and Discosoma that show exceptional color and pattern. There’s a lot of Bounce Mushrooms in the wild and in captivity, and the high profile nature of these animals will only ensure that we keep and grow and preserve even more diversity of this once neglected group of aquarium corals.