Acropora corals are clearly some of the successful corals on natural reefs, and the most popular corals in home aquariums. Their diversity of color, colony shapes, patterns and textures all come together to give these reef building corals an unrivaled appeal.
If there’s one thing that truly gets lost in translation from the wild corals on natural reefs to the home aquarium, it’s how great corals look when they are fully grown out. Small frags are cool and all, showing the color and shape of individual branches, but Acropora corals only reach their zenith when they are allowed to grow into a full colony.
This particularly prime specimen of Acropora cophodactyla really exemplifies this idea; it has a pleasant but not eye popping color, but it’s the overall colony shape that really makes this coral stand out. A frag of this A. cophodactyla would be interesting in an aquarium, but it’s not until a large colony is observed that the sum of its parts come together for one really appealing reef coral.
This colony of Acropora cophodactyla was seen while diving in Tulamben, Bali just a few scant days ago, and it really grabbed our attention in a crowded spread of reef with nearly 100% coral cover. When we photographed this colony, we realized that this coral is equally photogenic both from the side, and from above. The deep lavender color of this specimen is also something that has to be seen in person to be truly appreciated.