One of the most common questions of aquarists new to the reef aquarium hobby is where they can find a good guide to identify corals. Even with lots of experience and practice it can be a decent challenge but now there’s a new reference guide that breaks down coral identification by each broad group called Genera.
A new free PDF guide called the Coral Compactus by Zoe Richards of the Western Australian Museum is a great way to get started learning some of the major groups of stony corals in particular. If you’re a coral noobie the Coral Compactus guide is an ideal way to see how different coral colonies might look, but if you’re more experienced you may have noticed that this coral guide is focused on the unique group of corals from West Australia.
We’ve made some noise about how cool and interesting the marine life of Australia’s west coast are, both the fish and especially the corals, many of which are not usually found anywhere else. Moseleya, Australophyllia are regional endemics but many others which are found elsewhere occur in varieties and densities that are unique to West Australia.
If you’re looking for a quick guide or cliff notes to coral identification, Zoe Richard’s Coral Compactus is a great place to start and can serve as a stepping stone to other more comprehensive guides like Russel Kelley’s Coral Finders.