Indophyllia macassarensis is the rarest of the three Donut coral species, looking like a Cynarina lacrymalis but free-living on sandy substrates like Acanthophyllia deshayesiana. Side by side, true Indophyllia have thicker, shorter septa than Cynarina, with characteristic “jaguar spots” and squiggles on the vesicles. Some authorities suspect hybridization among Cynarina and Acanthophyllia, and even further research will place all three Donut Coral genera within the same, single genus.
In nature, Indophyllia is a rare find indeed, inhabiting deep (30m/90’) dish-shaped sandy areas where zooplankton food collects, so Top Shelf’s unusual Double Rainbow Indophyllia made us sit up, examine it closely, check our bank balance, and drool.
In form and color, the Double Rainbow definitely leans more toward a Cynarina, with that pink color, bubble-like tissue (which hides the primary septa,) and the double growth form too, but the Jaguar spots are present, the mouth is different, and the two-for-one offering of this unique WYSIWYG Indophyllia made us want to travel back down the pathway of pink, puffy, pillowlike free-living Lobophylliidae.