solomon islands

We tracked down the Purple Monster Acro to its original source

The Purple Monster Acropora is arguably one of the most infamous stony coral strains in the marine aquarium hobby, of all time. This particular strain of deep purple acro is the coral that kickstarted the whole idea of even having some corals that…

An ode to purple Montipora digitata in the aquarium, and in nature

Purple Montipora digitata is hands down, one of the most beautiful and colorful small polyp stony corals available for aquariums, bar none. There, we’ve said it, professed our love for a coral that no matter how many times you’ve seen…

Reef Building soft coral has the thickest stony “branches”

Soft corals are called “soft corals” because they are kind of like corals, and they are primarily soft. We know that there are always exceptions to every rule in the animal kingdom, and the most notable of these in the Octocorallia soft…

Australogyra zelli, the magnificent branching moon coral

Last week we had the great fortune of returning from the Solomon Islands on a very special expedition to the Central Province, on behalf of Unique Corals, exploring for rare an unusual corals from this region of the Coral Triangle. Back in…

A selection of Echinophyllia chalice corals from the Solomon Islands

As far as the hobby is concerned, nearly all of the stupid-awesome colored chalice corals are basically only found in Indonesia. Australia throws out some winners here and there but by and large, Indo is where it’s at when it…

Heart Cockle: living Giant clam ancestor observed in the wild

Corculum cardissa, better known as the heart cockle, doesn’t seem like it would have anything in common with our beloved giant clams. Except, maybe for the fact that it’s a bivalve. It may not be a direct ancestor, but the…

Plating Astreopora randalli discovered in a green-splattered color morph

Over the last couple of years we’ve had the distinct great privilege of visiting exotic coral reefs, many of which have never been seen by divers, or at least visitors with such a strong focus on the corals that actually…

At the source of black dogface puffers in the Solomon Islands

Dogface puffers are some of the most popular fish for fish tanks, with their lovable faces, pointed doglike snouts, and their cute and human-like eyes. On a scale of 1-10, pufferfish rate at about a 0 on the rarity scale…

Rainbow Australomussa from the Solomon Islands has almost magic color

I returned from a coral collecting and scouting trip to the Solomon Islands less than a week ago and all this time, I’ve been anxious to see how the corals collected would fare on the extra long, 48 hour flight from…

Back from the Solomon Islands with a new personal view of the reefs

When I first agreed to join a major aquarium fish and coral importer on a trip to the Solomon Islands, I blindly agreed knowing that there would be lots of reef fish and corals and diving involved, but I really…