Featured Coral of the Week 2/10/2016 Fat Head Dendrophyllia



This Featured Coral of the Week comes to us from Joey Nichols at Joe Knows Reefs.

  • Common name: Fat Head Dendro

  • Scientific name: Dendrophyllia fistulata 

Dendrophyllia fistulata is a non-photosynthetic coral which does not contain zooxanthellae in it’s tissue thus having to derive all of it’s nutrition from organic matter.  Since they do not require sunlight for growth, these coral are normally found inside and along cave walls and overhangs.  

In the aquarium, this coral requires feedings of meaty foods such as brine shrimp and mysis shrimp etc at a frequency of about 2-3x weekly.

Origin area: Indo Pacific

Care level: moderate due to requirement of frequent feedings.

Unlike “sun coral” it can be easily trained to stay open pretty much all day.  These corals are difficult to find since collection and import/export practices have been very regulated and are typically sold “by the head” with prices ranging from $30-70.  Joe Know Reefs has this coral available here.

These corals may occasionally be found with odd color variations such as in the one pictured above, however, it normally has more of a purple base color with orange.  On occasion they display yellow polyps instead of the more typical orange shown here. 


About Author

Scott Groseclose is the owner of AquaNerd, Aquarium Specialty, Aqua Specialty Wholesale, BioTek Marine, & The Carolina Reef Experience. He has a degree in Biology from St. Andrews University and he has been a passionate reef keeper since 1988.