Zoanthids are round small individual polyps, attached by a fleshy mat that can be created from small pieces of sand and rock. These animals come in a variety of different colonizing formations and in numerous colors. That last piece of information is what has created the zoanthid craze in this hobby!
There are always fads in the hobby, and right now one of the biggest is the selling, trading, buying, and collecting of rare Zoanthids. Some people are sick of other hobbyists creating rare sounding names to match barely different color variations. They don’t understand this craze for Zoas with special names. Others love that aspect of Zoanthids and becoming collectors who can sell them to create additional revenue from their reef aquariums.
Yes, it is crazy it a simple person’s mind that some Zoanthid go for $50 to $100 per polyp. Of course some are cheaper but it just depends on how fast that particular type grows, looks, or how popular it is. Some are actually rare, having their linage traced back if that matters to you, others again are just really popular at a time so they demand a higher price. Most of the time You aren’t buying the Zoathids you are buying the name.
Then again, We as hobbiests set the prices , if everyone in the hobby came together and say refused to buy Ricordia of any color, the price would drop big time. Ever notice that orange and blue rics cost more than green ones? There are just as many orange & blue ones in the ocean as there are green ones, but the demand for any ric other than green makes them cost twice as much. We only have our selfs to blame or at least the concept of supply and demand.