There’s a whole world of soft corals that the reef aquarium world knows nothing about, both photosynthetic and azooxanthellate. Asterospicularia is one of those softies that is primed for being grown in reef tanks, and which we affectionately call ‘Star Spike’ as a loose translation of its scientific name.
Star Spike coral is very rare in the aquarium hobby, but Efflatournaria has been misidentified with Asterospicularia in the past. Part of the reason for this is that Star Spike pretty much looks like the lovechild of a xenia and a Sarcophyton toadstool coral.
When the polyps close up there’s a definitely ‘capitulum’ or crown to the stalk of this coral, but it does not have dimorphic polyps despite the appearance of small spots between the polyps. But what makes this coral even worth mentioning is that it has a delicate blue-green color that has an opalescent quality about it.
The reason this coral would be great for nano reef tanks is that the crowns or lobes don’t get very large, they simply multiply like fair toadstools and form neat little bunches. These pictures of an aquarium worthy specimen came to us via Reef Raft Canada so we know this coral is bound to be put into dedicated propagation and will hopefully, eventually spread in the hobby.