Coral identification could be one of the biggest challenges to new aquarists but even veterans struggle to properly identify coral to the proper genus and species. Russell Kelley’s Coral Finder has been one of the best tools to identify a wide range of stony corals down to the generic levels and with the 2021 edition of Coral Finder this guide makes it easier than ever to determine what coral you’re looking at on a dive or growing in your aquarium.
The 2021 edition of Coral Finder is the fourth update to this handy reference tool which now includes more and better pictures of the pertinent details and characteristics of Scleractinian coral morphology. The combination of colony shots and macro photographs of each major coral group makes it easier than ever before to recognize the key features of almost every coral that can naturally be found growing on coral reefs from Africa and the Red Sea, through the Indo-Pacific and Coral Triangle, all the way east to the Pacific Ocean.
Coral identification is made even more challenging since taxonomists have made some big rearrangements in the classification of many familiar corals but thankfully the Coral Finder 2021 is fully updated with some of the newest designations like Fimbriaphyllia, Australophyllia, Dipsastrea, Lobactis and many more. As you may have gathered we take a great interest in the most current taxonomy of stony corals as we find it very informative to know that Micromussa lordhowensis is not an ‘Acan‘ and that orange ‘Lobophyllia’ are in fact Acanthastrea pachysepta.
These specific designations of what corals are officially called might seem like semantics to some but there are huge ecological and physiological differences between Cycloseris and actual Fungia corals; it’s more than nuance that we lose by not recognizing these differences, not to mention that true Acanthastreas will sting and kill Lords and Lobos with great aggression. At just a touch over fifty bucks the 2021 edition of the Coral Finder is one of the best ways to either start your journey to understanding coral identification, or round out your knowledge of some of the rarer groups of stony corals.
But the Coral Finder is not a stand alone resource as Mr. Kelley has also produced a wide range of supporting videos to help users better use the guide and all of its features, as well as offering deeper insights so you can hone your skills even more. We’re particularly excited to see a whole new catalog of coral pictures that were produced specifically for use in the Coral Finder which will offer even more reference material for accurate coral identification, not to mention the eye candy it provides to the diehard coral lovers.