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The love child of a Zoanthid and a Hammer Coral [updated]

By Leonard Ho - Posted Sep 07, 2011 06:00 AM
Shared on Here is an incredible mutation of a Zoanthid colony exhibiting Hammer-like tentacle tips.


All the tentacles are arranged in two clearly demarcated circular rows, and only the inner row develops the hammer-like/split-ends appearance.  All polyps in this colony exhibit this mutation, but colonies of this exact specimen in other aquariums do not.  The owner does not know what caused this unique gene expression.  As such, the owner is uncomfortable marketing this zoanthid as the next pricey "designer coral" (good for him!)  This is a clear case of ecomorphology.

Absolutely beautiful specimen and photography!
Read the original thread at

Thanks to the Red Robot for the link!

UPDATE: The owner has also observed this phenomenon in another zoanthid colony in the same tank.  Something in this specific aquarium is causing the polyps to develop these unique split tentacles.

Author: Leonard Ho
Location: Southern California

I'm a passionate aquarist of over 30 years, a coral reef lover, and the blog editor for Advanced Aquarist. While aquarium gadgets interest me, it's really livestock (especially fish), artistry of aquariums, and "method behind the madness" processes that captivate my attention.


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