The ARC Ultra Bowerbanki is a recently imported coral colony from A Reef Creation that channels the best color patterns of the species, and the genus. Normally, ‘Scolies’ are the LPS coral which we see with either a master color pattern, a black ring of a UFO, and very rarely, both master and UFO colors.
This Homophyllia bowerbanki exhibits the appearance of its sister species and since the colony is so big, there’s a wide range of color pattern from the center to the edge.The ARC Ultra Bowerbanki is mostly red across the entire colony, with the bold black ring of each polyp that is described as the UFO color pattern. Furthermore, there are splashes and stripes of green towards the interior of the colony which correspond to the master color pattern.
When it comes to big colonies of LPS corals showing such a diversity of colors and patterns within a single coral, it’s hard to explain what dictates where these colors develop. Whether it’s rainbow chalices, big lobos, or any of the Homophyllia and Acanthastrea, it’s anyone’s guess as to why the coral can look so different from one side to the other.
However the ARC Ultra Bowerbanki has more color ‘development’ in the older, central part of the colony. If this colony is propagated it will be very interesting to see whether the black ringed outer UFO polyps would eventually develop the green stripes and splotches like the interior ‘master’ corallites.
Since Bowerbanki and Hillae are now one species, and both Bowerbanki and ‘Scolies’ are now in the genus Homophyllia, it’s a lot easier to wrap your head around how these two corals can look so similar.