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Coral Reef Eye Candy

Ogling acan and micro corals can be dangerous to your wallet.

By Bob Goemans

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Over the past couple of years there’s been an amazing expansion in the trade in unbelievably gorgeous colonies of stony corals in the family Mussidae, more precisely those in the genera Acanthastrea and Micromussa. Corals in these genera are almost indistinguishable. Those in the genus Micromussa have smaller corallites (the skeletal area containing the polyp) than those in the genus Acanthastrea. Nevertheless, their colors are extraordinary as well as their prices. I’ve seen small frags a few inches in diameter selling for almost $1,000. In fact, one larger colony cost $2,000! (Aquarists who shop around can find acan and micro frags for less.)

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