Care Level: Easy
Placement: Bottom to Middle
Water Conditions: 72-78° F, dKH 8-12, pH 8.1-8.4, sg 1.023-1.025
The polyps of the Trumpet Coral Caulastrea echinulata grow close together and are shaped like the horn of a trumpet. Each Trumpet polyp grows on its own stalk, yet they are tightly compacted. This species gets its common name from the the fact that the oral disc is "deeper" inside, and the corallite walls are taller than those on other Caulastrea species. Some common names these corals are know for are Trumpet Coral, Torch Coral, Green Trumpet Coral, Spruce Caulastrea, and Column Brain Coral.
The top of each stalk of C. echinulata has polyps with long meandering thin corallites that form a number of interesting shapes. For instance, corallites can look like a stretched out letter "B" or number "3", have an hour glass shape, or have even more complex curves and twists, usually with several mouths.
The Trumpet Coral is generally a solid color, usually grayish green, with very little difference in the color of the center polyp. It is very similar to its close relative, the Candycane Coral C. furcata, but there are some distinctions that can be picked out with a discerning eye. The main differences in appearance are that the trumpet is generally less colorful, and the polyps extend further from the skeleton at the edges giving it the look of a trumpet. Also, the trumpets' polyps are much more closely packed to give the appearance of one large coral. Another close relative, the Bullseye Coral C. curvata is even more openly branched than the Trumpet Coral. It is also captive propagated and readily available in some very attractive varieties.