News / Species Spotlight / Highly UnderRated Corals - Scolymia vitensis (03/19/14)

Highly UnderRated Corals - Scolymia vitensis

In the Wild

Scolymia vitensis is a large polyped coral that is found in a very wide latitudinal range. They can be found all over the Western Pacific and they also have a small range in the South West Indian Ocean. They are found in reef environments, usually by themselves. Specimens from subtropical locations are generally smaller than those in tropical locations. They are mostly flat with a distinctive mantle. Colorations are predominantly orange and green, but a much wider variety exist.

ref: JEN Veron, Corals of the World, Book 3, 6th ed.

In the Aquarium

Scolymia vitensis is frequently mis-sold as Australomussa coral; do a google image search for "Australomussa" and this will become evident. Probably 1/3 to 1/2 of the images that come up are actually S. vitensis.

Vitensis is a really easy coral to keep. They can be placed on the sand bed or rockwork; just glue them in place if you put them on rockwork. Like most LPS corals, they can't tolerate having their polyps banged against anything. Make sure in placing them that they get gentle flow and low to moderate light. While they are likely burn out in high light, moderate light will make new and interesting colors develop on them. They will do better, grow faster and show better polyp extension if fed. They will extend feeder tentacles in low light times, and which point you can feed them a surprising amount of meaty marine based food.