Deepwater acropora are a category of SPS and staghorn corals unto themselves, in some parts of Europe they are called ‘naked’ acros for the smooth tissue between their widely spaced corallites. Nowhere in the world does the species diversity of these deepwater acros reach a crescendo like it does in Bali. Since we’ve only got a couple more days left on our extended stay in Indonesia, we spent some quality time with a special selection of deepwater acropora at Bali Aquarium.
It’s kind of hard to tell where one species and another begins, so for posterity we made this photographic collage of the deepwater acropora with morphology that intersect with bottlebrush corals, all of them sharing a generally ‘spiny’ appearance. The species pictured include Acropora lokani, A. carduus, A. fenneri, A. walindii, A. plana, and A. subglabra.
These species mostly come from a different kind of habitat from the shallow water high energy Acropora we’re more familiar with. We’ve still yet to see a whole aquarium devoted to the unique lighting and flow preferences of these species. Maybe one day someone will dial in the precise reefing recipe to make these particular corals shine because deepwater acros are truly deserving of the reef biotope treatment.