Of the 20,000+ corals we’ve had the privilege of photographing this year there are a handful we could put on a pedestal. Holy grail specimens, one in a million ultra corals. But this electric lime aid millie we spotted over the weekend in Raja Ampat is in a league of its own.
Acropora millepora is about as classic as aquarium corals come. This high energy coral, with its long shaggy tentacles begging for food, is a fan favorite and you would be hard press not to find a few different color variety at your local fish store or in the online WYSIWYG catalogs of your favorite coral vendors.
But when have you ever seen something so spectacular as this sunset orange millie with striking lime green polyps?
Corals in the wild will always look slightly different than their aquarium counterparts. And the longer any corals get fragged and propagated in reef tanks the colors, especially in millie become darker and richer. But this bright green polyps of this perfect wild carimbos colony would be a prize gem in any reef aquarium.
We asked a few of our friends around the industry and everyone agrees this is something truly unique. Reef Builders own Jake Adams pointed out that it looks quite similar to the Jason Fox Solar Flare millie, with little fuzzy fraglets selling for nearly $300.
It’s tough to compare such a stunning wild colony to the different morphs these corals can become in captivity, as each tank and lighting parameters are set differently. However, it’s nice to see how this magnificent these corals can appear when left up to mother nature.
We found this colony while snorkeling at slack tide Kri Island Raja Ampat, in 3 feet (1m) of water. At the lowers of low tides we wouldn’t be surprised to see this axial tips poking out of the surface dreaming of a life on land!
This is a good reminder if you have a millie, keep the flow high, feed feed feed and turn up the lights!! These are tough little corals with high metabolism just waiting to shine.