Green Leather Coral

Green leather coral, one of the soft coral Sarcophyton species, is populated in the Indo-Pacific. Also known as the Fiji Green Finger Leather Coral, Green Crown Leather Coral, Green Toadstool Leather Coral, Rasta Leather Coral, Sinularia Coral, and Spaghetti Leather Coral, this coral has a green and brown color as its name implies.

The green leather coral tends to have a more pleasing color palette and shape than other corals, with longer, thicker polyps. Like other species of leather coral, the green leather coral does not produce an exoskeleton, instead growing in a branching form, from which long tentacles extend and are covered in tiny white and gold polyps.

As the green leather coral grows, these appendages will increase in size. Originally the green leather coral may be quite average in size (less than 6) but will expand greatly during its growth. Green leather corals frequently anchor themselves to the base of a rock or a piece of dead coral. When an outside source attempts to dislodge the coral from its base, the polyps will retract in defense and shrink into themselves, feeling like a slimy, wet piece of leather.

Although the green leather coral seeks nutrition from more than one place, its main source of energy capitalizes on its nature as a symbiotic creature. The green leather coral enjoys a mutually beneficial relationship with the minute algae zooxanthellae which supplies the coral with a steady stream of energy and nutrients. A secondary energy source comes from the micro plankton and other foods that the green leather coral traps in its tentacles during ocean waves and currents.

The green leather coral is popular among aquarium enthusiasts, who are attracted to the corals low maintenance, passive nature, quick growth, and ability to culture easily. A piece of the tentacle can be sliced off and lodged between two small pieces of live rock (supported by a rubber band around the 3 pieces) or placed in the sandy area at the bottom of the aquarium. Placed back in the aquarium with the original green leather coral, the fragged piece will begin to grow shortly. Additional space should always be left open around the green leather coral, as it will double in size twice a year. Although a carnivore, the green leather coral is peaceful with other inhabitants of aquariums. The only precaution that needs to be taken has to do with the toxins the green leather coral possesses that could be harmful to other creatures. Although not aggressive to others, it doesnt mean that the green leather coral isnt immune from other creatures aggression- it has a tendency to be stung by other corals.

The water quality should be kept high with a constant temperature of 72-78F. In addition, the green leather coral requires a strong source of lighting and powerful water movement. Trace elements such as iodine and strontium should supplement the water to ensure good health of the green leather coral.

Blane Perun

Diver - Photographer - Traveler

Whale in Ocean