Ania Nerowski, our own Australian-based coral nerd, has reported to us a fantastic coral that showed up in Australia.
Cynarina lacrymalis, the Button Coral, is normally a solitary, monocentric, one polyp, one mouth coral. Double or triple heads sometimes show up, but we’ve never seen one like this crazy one before, with so many heads. With more than half a dozen different polyp mouths composing this unique coral, it’s an official record! As the previous was half a dozen on a brown Indonesian specimen.
The bright orange/red brick coloration is perfect, making this coral a truly unique gem. The skeleton length is 13 cm (5 inches) across the base. The base to the top is 9cm (3.5 inches) in height. It has 7 mouths interconnected in a maze-like shape. Which makes it a colony composed of quite small Cynarina lacrymalis polyps. To the point that people got confused and thought it was a particular type of Symphyllia sp (Lobophyllia sp) – something never seen before. The reason why this monocentric polyp develops a colony in very rare cases is not yet understood.
Ania managed to get quite a bit of information. It was collected on the northern GBR at Melaine patches 6 NM NE of Cape Melville. It was found on an Isolated rock. The depth was 16m (48′), on a turbid, dirty bottom with less than 4m of visibility. This means there was a a lot of food available. It was obviously the stand-out piece for the entire dive with not much else collected. Other corals present nearby were large gorgonians, soft corals, and Tubastrea, with lots of Coral Trout swimming around.
Aquamarine Aquaristic said it is destined to be displayed and will be available for purchase to the right buyer at our own Reef Builders, Reefstock Australia 2023 in Sydney!!!! Start saving!
Thank you very much, Ania, from Gallery Aquatica for keeping an eye on these real gems for us!