Care Level: Easy
The Trachyphyllia Brain Coral is also referred to as a Folded Brain, or Crater Coral and is a large polyp stony (LPS) coral. It may have a folded, or figure-eight shape. Its genus name, Trachyphyllia, comes from the Greek trachys (rough) plus phyllon (leaf) because it resembles a rough leaf lying on the sandy bed. There are two common species of Trachphyllia: T. geoffroyi and T. radiata. The T. radiata, which is usually more convoluted in appearance and has fused walls, was formerly called Wellsophyllia radiata, but the genus Wellsophyllia has now been eliminated.
These corals get their common name from the grooves and channels on their surfaces that look like the folds of the human brain. There's more than one kind of "brain coral"—several species from two different families of corals share the name—but all help build coral reefs.
Coral reefs around the world are in danger. Silt (fine soil) smothers coral when it washes off the land from farm fields, roads and building sites. More towns and resorts near shore mean more sewage, oil and chemicals in the water.
While staghorn corals grow rapidly to gain new territory, slow-growing brain corals rely on brawn. They hold their ground by being solid and strong enough to withstand the storms that pound more delicate corals to rubble.