Blue Acropora are among the most coveted corals in reef aquarium. Meanwhile, the brilliant Green Slimer Acropora yongei is one of the most common and fastest growing corals in captivity. But did you know these two types of coral have something in common?
It turns out that more than 20 years ago, Bruce Carlson and his wife Marj Awai, then of the Waikiki Aquarium, collected and grew a stunning beautiful blue strain of Acropora yongei. Hailing from the Solomon Islands, this blue Acropora yongei did very well in captivity and was widely distributed to public aquariums around the country.
The best part of this story is the more than 20 year history recounted by Bruce Carlson. From his initial discovery of this coral as a super colony in the Mane Island of the Solomon Islands, to anecdotes about its aquarium success, and finally capping off the story with a new recent video of this coral in the wild.
In the face of so many threats to coral reefs, it’s impressive and encouraging to know that this one exceptional colony of blue Acropora yongei is still going strong. Coral bleaching, destructive fishing practices and coral diseases seemed to have all but skipped over this colony of Blue Yongei and Bruce’s storytelling is really enjoyable.
As an added bonus, there’s five minutes of stationary footage of this coral added to the ‘end’ of the video. In this extra video time, Bruce has counted upwards of 30 different species of reef fish and he’s challenged the reef fish lovers to spot and identify as many of them as possible in the five minute period – how many can you count?