By Bob Goemans
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Lobophyllia hemprichii

(Ehrenberg, 1834)

Meat Coral, Wrinkle Coral, Lobed Brain Coral

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Range: Indo-West Pacific and Red Sea, including western, northern, and eastern coasts of Australia east to Tahiti, and north to southern Japan

Natural Environment: This photosynthetic stony coral is usually found in the clear waters along protected upper reef slopes and fore-reef slopes, and is sometimes found covering extensive areas, e.g., 5 - 10 meters across. Colonies are flat to hemispherical and may include colonies having different colors and polyp mantles of different texture. Specimens are sometimes found with two or more colors, where valley wall coloration differ from central mouth areas.

General Husbandry: This is one of the better commonly available stony corals for beginners, as it’s quite hardy and disease free. Once placed where lighting is moderate, e.g., from metal halides or fluorescent lamps in the range of 3 -5 watts, and where water movement is slow to moderate, it requires little else but good water quality.

As for placement, some forethought should be given to its neighbors, as it responds poorly to being stung, even moderately by aggressive corals. Nevertheless, it can be placed upstream close to other corals, as it is relatively non-aggressive. If placed on ledges, be sure to secure it firmly, as injuries to its large polyp do not seem to heal very well and can lead to infections/micro alga infestations that cause tissue recession.

Zooplankton-type products such as rotifers, newly hatch brine shrimp, or Cyclop-eeze can be offered, yet would recommend limiting feeding attempts to no more than once every few weeks. Specimens I’ve fed more often have taken on odd shapes, with tissue expanding and hanging/drooping loosely in some areas. Feeding tentacles are usually displayed during evening hours and should increased growth be desired, direct feeding during the time periods when feeding tentacles are displayed can be attempted.

 Lobophyllia hemprichii (Meat Coral, Wrinkle Coral, Lobed Brain Coral)
Photo © Len Ho
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