Lobophyllia is a genus of stony corals belonging to the family Mussidae, which is a group of large polyp stony corals commonly found in the Indo-Pacific region. These corals are often referred to as "brain corals" due to their appearance, which resembles the convoluted surface of the human brain. Lobophyllia corals are known for their attractive and colorful appearance, making them popular in the aquarium trade.
Here are some key characteristics and information about Lobophyllia corals:
Appearance: Lobophyllia corals have large, fleshy polyps that form round or dome-shaped colonies with wavy, folded, or lobed surfaces. These colonies come in a variety of colors, including shades of green, brown, red, and even fluorescent hues. The corallites (individual coral polyps) are embedded within the coral's skeleton.
Polyps: Lobophyllia corals have large, extended polyps during the night and retract them during the day, similar to many other stony corals. This behavior is related to their feeding patterns.
Feeding: Like other stony corals, Lobophyllia corals are primarily photosynthetic, containing symbiotic zooxanthellae within their tissues that help convert sunlight into energy. They also capture small planktonic organisms and particulate matter from the water column using their tentacles and nematocysts (stinging cells).
Habitat: Lobophyllia corals are commonly found in the shallow reef environments of the Indo-Pacific Ocean, including regions like the Great Barrier Reef and the Red Sea. They prefer moderate to high water flow and bright light conditions.
Care in Aquariums: Lobophyllia corals are popular among reef aquarium enthusiasts due to their striking appearance. When kept in a home aquarium, they require stable water parameters, appropriate lighting, and good water flow. They can be sensitive to changes in water quality, so maintaining proper husbandry practices is crucial.
It's essential to research and understand the specific care requirements of Lobophyllia corals if you plan to keep them in a reef aquarium, as their needs can vary based on the exact species and environmental conditions they come from. Additionally, always ensure that any corals you acquire for your aquarium are legally and ethically sourced, as the collection of wild corals can harm natural reef ecosystems.
Care level: Moderate
Water flow: Medium
Common Name: Brain Coral, Lobophyllia
Latin Name: Lobophyllia hemprichii
Size: 1 head