The Flower Polyp Montipora Cap is one of the older and more unique strains of Montipora in the reef aquarium hobby, and also one of our favorites. This light off-green Monti strain has a nice thick purple rim, but what really makes its special is the large bright blue polyps it gets its name from.
But after nearly 15 years of being simply a classic strain of Monti Cap this coral is about to become front page news again with the discovery of colony with a brilliant green fluorescent protein infection, a-la WWC’s grafted orange and green Monti cap. We spotted this sensational colony at Aquatic Art in Highlands Ranch, Colorado this weekend who had just acquired it as a traded-in, ‘used’ coral.
At first glance the green patch looked so bright we thought it was a slice of a different green montipora cap that had been placed within the flower polyp cap colony. But closer examination revealed that there was no visible fusing, and the green fluorescent protein had begun to spread among the basal whorls of the main piece.
Thankfully, Aquatic Art owner Cris Cap knew exactly what he was looking at, and precisely what to do with it next, building on our collective experience of how to encourage a balance of color in the WWC Grafted Cap. There’s lots of different monti strains that turn up with a light to moderate degree of infections by foreign fluorescent proteins and many of these are so subtle as to not really be worth mentioning – we’re looking at you Setosa with your olive green streaks.
But in the case of the Flower Polyp Cap the green counterpart is so intense that it is guaranteed to be a hit with the collectors of unusual SPS coral strains. We’ve already put in our request for a frag of the GFP infected flower polyp cap so we’ll keep you posted to how this strain develops both in our tanks and in the Aquatic Art main display where this colony is very certainly destined to end up.