Scouting inshore reefs south of Mackay together with Nic from Ultra Coral Australia, we came across another crazy looking staghorn coral. It was so bright yellow, almost fluorescent, that it was glowing out even in this dirty nasty turbid water. It was so bright, Nic decided to call it Solar Flare Acro.
It’s a rare, insane color variation of a classic southern barrier reef inshore species of Acropora glauca. While it’s normally of a classic dark green coloration, that is pretty common in these waters. This one was way more colorful and different than the usual suspect.
First of all it was bright crazy fluorescent yellow, but on top of it, it has vivid blue tips. One very interesting addition is that as soon as we came back to the facility, as all these inshore, turbid water acros, they rely heavily on feeding in these rich, food abundant waters, and as soon as we dropped it in the clean water of the Ultra Coral Australia receiving system, it opened it’s bright yellow fluffy polyps, which covered the pale branch color.
This got us eye blinking, trying to adapt to the brightness of this insane acro under blue light. It got us mesmerized, drooling for a while, until we could figure out what was going on, and understanding where this coral was coming from.
Obtaining most of its energy requirement from feeding, it will have to adapt to nutrient poor reef tank water. Usually, these dirty water species, adapt very well to cleaner waters and end up getting even better. Hard to believe how this one could get better but can’t wait to see the result after few weeks of proper
cooking conditioning under ideal aquarium conditions.
The colony was a perfect circular, finely sculpted, 1 m across flat table Acropora glauca growing in 4-5 meters of waters, inside a crack of the rocky coastline. The shape of this species is really particular, forming corymbose plates with horizontal branches highly fused, and very short irregular uprights secondary vertical branchlets.
The white base color of the branches with fluorescent yellow round, very evenly shaped and arranged ‘nariform’ or nose-shaped, and thick edged radial corallites, gives a highly contrasting touch to the texture of this particular coral. One of the interesting facts about Acropora glauca, is that like other species of the A. lovelli group, they are absent from the central indo-pacific area, and more common in southern and northern locality, preferring rocky shore than actual coral reefs.