Meat Coral (Acanthophyllia deshayesiana)
Family: Mussidae (Stony Corals)
Habitat: Found attached to rocks on reef slopes and overhangs
Light: Medium Water Flow: Low Space: 50+ gal.
Reef Safe: Yes Care Level: Easy Temperament: Aggressive
Diet: These corals have zooxanthellae which provide much of their nutrition. It is believed they also feed on microzooplankton and directly absorb some nutrients from the water.
Natural History: Meat Corals exist as a single large polyp on a round skeleton. It is one of the largest single-polyp corals found on reefs. The soft and fleshy polyp tissue expands around the round skeleton in the shape of a doughnut. Its colors range from pink and red to drab brown. This species is a very close relative of Cynarina and is considered by some to be the same. Another closely related species is Indophyllia macassarensis from Indonesia.
Husbandry: Meat Coral grows best in low water flow systems with moderate light. It is capable of capturing prey as large as brine shrimp with feeding tentacles at night. It can change appearance and color quite regularly. Some soft corals may be detrimental to the health of this species by producing allelopathic compounds that inhibit its growth. This species is considered a good indicator of good water quality when it fully expands its feeding tentacles at night.
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