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.