Mussids, sometimes called meat corals or flat brain corals, make fantastic aquarium corals. Within the family Mussidae, there are several genera that deserve the reef aquarist’s attention, and close to the top of the list is the genus Scolymia. Like many mussids, there is a good bit of taxonomical disagreement and confusion surrounding the genus Scolymia, as some Scolymia specimens are virtually indistinguishable from the genus Lobophyllia (a.k.a. lobed or flat brain coral). They are also easy to confuse with specimens from the genus Cynarina. Taxonomy aside, there is no disagreement regarding the ease-of-care and beauty of these animals. “Scolymia type corals are some of the hardiest and most sought after corals by all types of reef aquarists
Scolymia in the Reef Aquarium
Properly pronounced Skah'-lee-MY'-ah, Scolymia species generally present as large, circular polyps that are characteristically fleshy and often gorgeously colored with bright shades of fluorescence. Alternatively called artichoke coral, button coral, donut coral, saucer coral, and meat coral, Scolymia species are relatively common in the marine aquarium trade. While generally quite reasonable in price, some rare color variations can fetch over $1000. Scolymia species are indigenous to both the Indo-Pacific and the Western Atlantic, with many of the most impressive specimens entering the marine ornamental trade from Australia.