Photograph by Blane Perun

Blastomussa Wellsi

The blastomussa wellsi is one of two species of blastomussa found in the deep waters of Indo-West Pacific oceans, usually around fringing reefs or submerged patch reefs.

Origins Of Wellsi And Other Species In The Family

A common acronym to see used in describing the blastomussa wellsi is LPS, which stands for Large Polyped Stony Coral. While they are common within their natural environments, they are can be frustratingly difficult to obtain for personal use in reef tanks and aquariums. Blastomussa Wellsi Fragment.

Appearance

There are many names for the blastomussa wellsi, including Swollen Brain Coral, Big Pipe Blastomussa, Blasto, Wells is Brain, etc. The blastomussa wellsi is distinct from its relative blastomussa merletti because of its thick, fleshy, swollen polyps that are extremely larger than the merletti. The thickness of the blastomussa wells is tissue makes its general appearance similar to many types of brain coral (including Caulastrea) at first glance.

Coloration And Variations

The wellsi comes in a variety of bright colors, including shades of maroons (rush to brownish reds), reds, and purple with green centers (although rarer versions have been found in solid blue.) The growth rate of a blastomussa wellsi will be extremely slow, and grow vertically in small colonies of less than 12 polyps (the more common colony size is actually three to five polyps). The underlying skeletal structure of the blastomussa wellsi is rarely seen, as its polyps are usually extended so fully that they cover its body completely.

Raising  In Captivity

Reef enthusiasts, divers, and hobbyists alike find the blastomussa wellsi to be very attractive and a wanted specimen for any home tank. Because of its Blastomussa Wellsi Orange and Green popularity and limited harvest, blastomussa wellsi can run on the higher end of specimens, especially if its coloring is one of the rarer hues. Once a blastomussa wellsi is acquired, maintaining them is fairly easy, as they don’t require expensive equipment or many supplements. The wellsi needs to be acclimated to high lights in a tank, as it is not usually exposed to intense lighting in the ocean because of its depth. Start out with low lighting, positioning the polyps to face out (versus upwards) or at least shaded by another substrate within the tank. The lighting can gradually move up over time- the blastomussa wellsi will adapt easily. Since the blastomussa wellsi reproduces naturally in the wild through asexual fragmentation, the same approach can be used when propagated in a home environment. Simply divide pieces of the skeleton with one or more polyps included on the broken piece. This piece can be placed in another part of the tank until it grows into its own blastomussa wellsi colony.

Predators

There are not many direct predators of blastomussa wellsi, but the occasional creature will find the wellsi to be satisfying due to its meaty content, and will pick on the edges of the coral.

Blane Perun

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