Zoanthids are some of the most popular and collectible ‘corals’ in the reef aquarium hobby and there seems to be practically no end to their colors and patterns. Part of the reason for this endless parade of new Zoanthus and Protopalythoa varieties is from the new collection areas we’ve enjoyed and Papua New Guinea is slotting in as the next new hot spot of our beloved polyps.
While only distantly related to true corals, in an aquarium environment the polyps of zoanthids can fetch a high price since they are hardy, easy to propagate, and easier to keep a wide assortment as a collection in even the smallest of reef tanks. The high value of discovering polyps with fancy mouths and colorful skirts – as the tentacles are sometimes called – has led diehard zoanthid enthusiasts to scrutinize all new wild imports of the tiny bullseye colored animals.
The reefing community has collectively processed hundreds of thousands of zoanthid rocks from Fiji, Tonga, Indonesia, Vietnam and Australia and smaller amounts of polyps have been made available from Florida, Hawaii, Palau and Taiwan. But finally after several years of development by Golden Ocean it finally appears like we’re finally going to get a real crack at seeing what Papua New Guinea has to offer in terms of fancy zoanthid polyps.
We’re no specialist of fancy zoanthid strains but if the suite of pictures just shared by Golden Ocean PNG are any indication it seems like they’re reasonably close to shipping their colorful flower animals to the reef aquarium hobby around the world. Papua New Guinea and the neighboring Solomon Islands are part of a very unique ecoregion of marine life and we have every expectation that their zoanthid varieties will be just as rich as the fish and coral life.