Acropora abrolhosensis – or the Abro Acro for short – is one of the first, most classic SPS corals that reefers ever loved and actually grew. In the early days of success with small polyp stony corals, the Abro acro was right alongside the green slimer, basic Montipora digitata and Porites cylindrica in the selection of corals used to pioneer the husbandry of SPS corals.
We can definitely recall a time when everyone had the shaggy staghorn with a big fat eraser for a tip, and you would have been hard pressed to even give it away. Alas, those days are long gone and the once classic Acropora abrolhosensis is quite rare to find in our reef tanks.
Thankfully, new contacts made during ReefStock Australia have shone a spotlight on West Australia coral supplier Batavia Coral Farms which operates right in the heart of Abrolhos country. This isolated coral farming operation has been supplying classic Abro Acros to the domestic Australian coral aquarium market for years but has partnered with Unique Corals to bring their selection to the United States.
Five years ago we recounted our first encounter with Acropora abrolhosensis in Indonesia, where this species is rare. The original strain of classic Abro must have come from this region or the Solomon Islands as we were growing it long before Australia ever opened up to exports. So the exciting part of finally getting colonies from where this species was first described and where it’s more common is that we expect to discover a lot more diversity of shapes and colors.
Unique Corals teased the first images of the reintroduction of A. abrolhosensis last week and since these corals are already coming from a farm, the pieces so far have not been miniscule. We can’t wait to see what a steady stream of this once beloved Acropora will do to put this coral back in the spotlight, and what new possible colors will come from Batavia Coral Farms, not to mention all the other exotic Indian Ocean stony corals we expect to see coming from this region very soon.