Colour: Blue, turquoise, purple, rusty red-orange.
Distinguishing Characteristics: In large polyps the tentacles on the oral disc are highly branched and look like stony coral polyps. A distinct type of tentacle at the disc margin forms a row of "toes" This species does not have a naked margin, but it sometimes curls the margin underneath the oral disc so that the tentacles are not apparent.
Similar Species: lliere are several related species in the Indo-Pacific, all having the row of numerous, fine, toe-like tentacles at the disc margin In some species the discal tentacles form what look like complete scleractinian polyps. This may offer a form of camouflage.
Natural Habitat: Reef slopes and back reef margins on walls or on coral rubble, particularly dead branches of Acropora. In strong sunlight (partially shaded by the branches they grow on or by slope of the reef). Exposed to intermittently strong water motion (surge or currents). Imported most often from Tonga.
Aquarium Care: Easy to care for when provided with strong, but indirect light; either fluorescent or metal halide. Grows quickly. Feeding not necessary, but may accept food offered.
Rhodactis cf. inchoata, Blue Tonga mushroom. J. C. Delbeek
Close-up of R. cf. inchoata. J.C. Delbeek
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