So-called deepwater Acropora are so different in appearance and ecology that they could easily belong to a different genus of coral. There’s a myriad of species that ascribe to the deepwater or ‘naked acro’ description, but the most extreme member of this group is easily Acropora suharsonoi.
A. suharsonoi is so distinct, with its super long, extremely smooth tapering branches, that it has always been one of the most highly desirable deepwater acros. Until now, if you wanted to enjoy this species you had your choice of various off-white color schemes, with shades of grey, light brown or light green being the predominant colors of Acropora suharsonoi.
However today we are happy to report that Acropora suharsonoi exists in a ‘red’ color form which sports much more vivid color than any other strain of this species than we’ve ever seen. This new color for the ‘king of deepwater acros’ is a light brown interior with the better part of each branch being a beautiful shade of pinkish purple, which photographs red under the spectrum of light produced by underwater strobes.
Don’t get your hopes or expectations up too much, this is still an A. suharsonoi we’re talking about so there’ll be no retina-burning pigments from this species. However those of us that have experience with deepwater acros will be able to translate this shade of deepwater-acro-pink to a quite colorful shade of purple or lavender under modern aquarium lighting.
Furthermore, this red/pink/mauve strain of Acropora suharsonoi was sighted in Central Indonesia, outside the usual areas of coral collections. We don’t know when or if this strain of this species will ever become available as a wild or cultured colony, but knowing this strain exists is exciting in itself.