This exceptionally stunning purple Acropora suharsonoi with swirls of green fluorescent protein has just been obtained by Bali Aquarium. Rare and aberrant reef fish pop up on our radar like everyday but one of a kind coral specimens such as this purple and green A. suharsonoi are much more special.
Acropora suharsonoi is already an iconic staghorn coral for its elegantly tapering long smooth branches, alas, this species is most often found in subtle shades of grey, green, or cream. So you can imagine why we lost our cool when we sighted a nice wild Acropora suharsonoi in central Indonesia with a redding pink coloration.
However, today’s purple Acropora suharsonoi is brought to us in aquarium conditions, and under the type of blue-rich LED aquarium lighting which brings out its defining swirls of green fluorescent pigment. We’ve seen GFP-infections in many
SPS corals before; sometimes called ‘grafted acros’, some strains of aquarium corals are actually propagated specifically for their GFP infection.
One of the first GFP infected corals to be purposefully grown for limited edition frags was none other than the ‘Grafted Simplex’ from Reef Farmers. This coral was the first to really hit reefers radar and it spurred the intense debate which led to our ‘understanding’ that green fluorescent protein can ‘infect’ corals and spread throughout its tissues.
Some other captive grown aquarium corals with notable GFP infections include Steve Garret’s Green Jacket, an Acropora divaricata whose purple tips are constantly being enveloped by rapidly encroaching green fluorescent protein. Perhaps even more famous and widespread is the World Wide Corals grafted cap, an orange Montipora capricornis which develops beautiful beautiful green streaks and swirls.
More recently we’ve seen the hallmarks of GFP infection in wild-collected Green Splash Astreopora randalli. While we make a big deal out of the very few GFP infected corals we come across, this brilliant purple Acropora suharsonoi is truly on another level.
One of the things that make’s today’s discovery of this exceptional Acropora suharsonoi is that it is already in the hands of Bali Aquarium, one of the most famous coral farming companies in the world. We are therefore hoping that Bali Aquarium has some plans to put this coral into intensive propagation so they can farm many more specimens of the purple-green Acropora suharsonoi and send farmed colonies of it all over the world.