While ‘coral-ing’ in North Bali, we came upon an insane colony of Lobophyllia flabelliformis we couldn’t resist to photograph and share with you. But we came across while foraging for coral observation in North Bali, a colony of Lobophyllia like we’ve never seen before.
Even though most Lobophyllia species have a roughly textured surface, the papilla on this species mantle sets them apart in the LPS world. Usually Lobophyllia flabelliformis, are dull grey/brown and add this extra layer of ‘tentacle’ movement that none other member of this genus really posses. Description:
Description:Lobophyllia flabelliformis, as their name suggests, are flabello-meandroid with a colony appearance similar to the shapes of Symphyllia colonies meandroid shape that the ‘lobes’ shape of Lobophyllia.
Polyps have a thick fleshy mantle covered with elongate papillae that may resembles tentacles. This papillose surface texture can almost look like tentacles and is really unique make them easy to tell apart from other species. These pseudo-tentacles are leads to the common name of ‘carpet lobo’ and is sometime so developed, they can almost be confused with an anemone!
The underlying skeletal structure forms broad valleys that shares no walls. Large spikey septal teeth lie below the thick tissue, and can sometime puncture through the mantle.
This carpet lobo was lying by itself on a black sandy slope, by 18 m (55ft), which quite deep for that particular species. The coral was by itself on the black sand, at the bottom of a valley groove. All papillae opened. Turbulences created by the rocky ridges, forms a small down current in the valley where a lot of food gets trapped. Lying by itself in the middle of this groove, was a reason it was well fed, and probably explained the really unusual extra long papillae.
Also by 18 m (55ft) depth the light intensity is already greatly reduced, thus explaining again the extra pumped up mantle.
The coloration of this particular specimen was the striking difference that makes this coral so unique. The valleys of the colony were dark brown with some red reflection which is typically the fluorescent coloration of zooxanthellae.
Meanwhile the upper ridges are covered with the brightest greenish, lime yellow mantle you could imagine. This perfect coloration would probably look very unreal under blue LED.
This very unique coral is a sight to remember, as we don’t come across such spectacular combination of colors in LPS corals very often.