News / Species Spotlight / Highly Underrated Corals: Lobophyllia (04/28/15)

Highly Underrated Corals: Lobophyllia

In the Wild

Lobophyllia is a genus of corals with a relatively small number of known species, but a pretty wide natural range, being found all over the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

They are generally dome shaped or flat topped, and colonies can vary from just a few "heads" to hundreds of them in a grouping multiple meters across.

These corals are collected at a variety of depths and in a myriad of conditions. More brightly colored specimens are usually collected at greater depths, murkier water or from under overhangs and ledges. In culture facilities, they usually take up the deeper racks; at least 30 and up to 60 feet deep.

In the Aquarium

Lobophyllia genus corals were among the first corals to be called "Brain." But because there are so many other corals that have taken on that name, it generally goes by a distinct derivation of its scientific name "Lobo".

Given favorable conditions they are an extremely hardy coral that does well in low flow scenarios that also have either low or moderate light conditions. One can usually acclimate these corals slowly to very bright conditions, but the corals tend to brown out. They are generally tolerant of some less than ideal nutrient parameters, as long as other water quality remains stable.

In order to feed, they will extend surprisingly long, white tipped tentacles most evenings, when they will take large meaty meals greedily. After a few weeks of consistent feeding (1x-3x weekly) they will start to extend feeder tentacles during the day. They require supplemental foods to display good vigor and reasonable growth rates.

References:

Ronald L Shimek, PH.D., Marine Invertebrates, 1st ed. (T.F.H. Publications Inc, New Jersey, 2004).
JEN Veron, Corals of the World, Book 3, 6th ed. (Australian Institute of Marine Science, Qld, 2000)
QM In House Sources: Eli Fleishauer, Adam Mangino, Gaspare Gladstone