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Scolymia

Scolymia is a genus of stony corals living as solitary polyps. The best known species, Scolymia australis and Scolymia vitiensis, have meanwhile been reassigned to other genera by revisions, as Homophyllia australis and Lobophyllia vitiensis, but the inertia of the conservation authorities responsible for CITES means that we as traders may still enjoy the original synonyms. Also Cynarina lacrymalis was once Scolymia lacrymalis. The currently valid species like Scolymia cubensis, S. lacera and S. wellsii occur instead in the Caribbean and the Pacific and are usually not traded. Scolymia possess zooxanthellae and thus can feed on light. They are usually found at great depths - up to 80 m - at the base of the reef, where the water is often clouded by sediment. Therefore, they require little light and settle well on the aquarium floor. It is speculated that their bright fluorescent colors serve, among other things, to deter coral-eating fish, though no exact mechanism has been researched. Because they are single polyps, injuries are often a problem for Scolymia - single septa that puncture the skin after transport and similar abrasions heal well, but deeper injuries are problematic. A rare variety are double polyps, which are caused by two larvae fusing when they first settle and become attached. Scolymia are often brown to gray, rarely green or red. Very rarely bicolored animals occur, which are called Warpaint, Bleeding Apple, Reverse Bleeding Apple, UFO or Superman. Like other LPS they are often classified in rarity grades like Regular, Red, Green, Ultra, Super Ultra or Mastergrade - the latter are absolutely exceptional animals that have multicolored patterns, for example Spirograph or Golden variants.

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