There was a time when most of us were certainly very content to see any Euphyllia coral in a bright shade of green, but the last fifteen years have revealed a rainbow of colors we never knew existed. More discerning collections of Euphyllia, especially in Australia and Indonesia, have shows us those graceful, flowing tentacles in a spectrum of yellow, green, orange, and even purple-ish colors and combinations thereof, with true blue being the only shade missing from the color palette of the fleshy LPS corals.
Not only have we enjoyed hammers, frogspawns, and torches in a dizzying array of colors but there are also countless patterns to remix their different hues, a shining example of which we encountered at one of the Denver-area reef specialty stores recently. Short of calling it a goofy name, for once we’re at a loss at how to describe this unique Euphyllia ancora with ‘black tips’ where the brighter underlying coloration is not present, creating a really striking looking hammer coral.
We’ve seen specimens of hammer coral with these blacked out tips before, in person and in pictures but this colony living at Aquatic Art is one of the most high contrast colonies we’ve ever seen with this color pattern. This color pattern is most often seen in non-branching Euphyllia ancora and we’ve seen colonies with all the tips exhibiting this trait but what really caught our eye about this hammer is that only some of the tentacles show this absence of color in the tips, boldly contrasting with the rest of the normally colored tentacles.
It’s been a long time since we’ve featured a single hammer coral for its unique appearance and while this black tip hammer coral is not exceptionally rare or unheard of, the health and vitality of this coral leaves nothing to be desired.