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What type of fish is in the middle of CaptiveReefs (top left corner of page...hint it is the main character in Finding Nemo) )

Zoanthus gigantus


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  1. #1
    Wy Renegade - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Default Zoanthus gigantus

    One of my personal favorites, Zoanthus gigantus or Peope Eater zoanthids, were arguably the first named coral and are one of the few species of zoanthids to actually be indentified down to species. It is in fact a member of this group which is commonly identified as having first started the naming craze of corals. Blane Perun first collected, propagated, named and sold PPE (aka Purple People Eaters) in order to help fund a children's charity. He tells the story on his own web site, Farms of the Sea. This particular polyp has ranged in price from $200/polyp to its current price of around $10 to $50/polyp, and has inadvertently set the standard of a higher price for members of this particular species of zoanthids. The slow growth rate of the PPE polyp insures that it continues to be in high demand by hobbyists who feel they need to acquire this icon for their aquarium; although it is becoming more and more widespread with time.


    Perun originally identified this particular polyp as a palythoa, and thus they are still commonly (and incorrectly) referred to in the hobby as palys. However, Reimer later classified all Indo-Pacific PE's by DNA into their own species, Zoanthus gigantus. Care should be taken when identifying PE zoas as Zoanthus gigantus however, as Caribbean People Eaters are currently classifed as either Zoanthus pulchellus or Zoanthus solanderi. Further genetic research is required to determine if in fact these two groups of very similar zoas are the same species.

    The PPE polyp exhibited a set of easily identifiable characteristics and based on these characteristics a significant number of additional color morphs, many of them much more colorful than the original, have since been identified. These morphs are collectively grouped and referred to as PE (aka People Eater) zoas. It has been suggested that the People Eater moniker was given because of the large green mouth that this group exhibits.

    Distinguishing PE Characteristics


    • A large, typically colorful, oral disc;
    • A neon green mouth;(Although in some color morphs speckling can make the mouth color difficult to distinguish)
    • And white (watermelon-like) striping on the underside of the polyp;
    • Most PEs also have short, fairly blunt-tipped tentacles in their skirt;


    Additional Info:
    Some morphs exhibit a bluish ring around the green mouth which distinguishes them from similar morphs. Morphs with the bluish ring are sometimes distinguished with the word "True" in their name, such as True Red PEs.




    Additional Photo Credits: PPE Colony - jimsflies; Closed PPEs - Wy Renegade
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    Last edited by jimsflies; 03-10-2012 at 02:46 PM.

  2. #2
    jimsflies - Reefkeeper
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    Default

    Awesome job on this article Randy!!!

    Love the pics!

  3. #3
    Wy Renegade - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Thanks Jim! I appreciate all your time and effort with helping me to organize the format and in working with the photos. Many thanks also to all those who contributed pictures for use in the article as well.
    Last edited by Wy Renegade; 11-13-2010 at 01:30 PM.
    I collect PEs, and I'm always looking to trade for ones I don't have yet.

  4. #4
    Sir Patrick - Reefkeeper A2 Club Coordinator
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    Awsome write up man!!! Great info!

  5. #5
    ReeferRob - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Awesome, informative article Randy. Thank you for doing that and glad to contribute in any way!
    "We shouldn't think of an environment where livestock can survive, we should ensure an environment where livestock can thrive."-Rabidgoose
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  6. #6
    spartanrob - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Probably a newbie question, but why do you say morph when describing some of the different colors of these zoa's? Do they morph over time into new colors?

  7. #7
    MizTanks - Reefkeeper
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    Not a day goes by that I don't learn something here. Awesome write up!!!
    There's nothing like being a Reefer! www.upmmas.com

  8. #8
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    This is awesome because after I read this, I realized that a frag I picked up a few months ago for $5 is one of these. Has all the characteristics described here.

  9. #9
    Wy Renegade - Reefkeeper CR Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by spartanrob View Post
    Probably a newbie question, but why do you say morph when describing some of the different colors of these zoa's? Do they morph over time into new colors?
    Since they are all the same species, but just different colors of the same species they are referred to as morphs in the hobby. Generally a given morph doesn't change a lot once it is in captivity, but newly harvest morphs will often change significantly under aquarium lighting. Because they are the same species, and just different color, they don't really constitute a subspecies, so everyone just refers to them as a morph.

    Quote Originally Posted by MizTanks View Post
    Not a day goes by that I don't learn something here. Awesome write up!!!
    Thanks Miz - glad you were able to gleam something new from the article.

    Quote Originally Posted by JMALACHI View Post
    This is awesome because after I read this, I realized that a frag I picked up a few months ago for $5 is one of these. Has all the characteristics described here.
    Very cool. Does it have good color?
    I collect PEs, and I'm always looking to trade for ones I don't have yet.

  10. #10

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    Very nice job! Thanks for your efforts.

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