The Devil’s Hand Leather Coral is also sometimes called the Finger Leather Coral, Cabbage Leather Coral or Lobed Leather Coral. It is found in a variety of colours such as green, tan and yellow. Its growth pattern resembles a hand, with a flat, fleshy base and vertical “fingers”. It grows in a colonial form with the base slowly increasing in size and sprouting more and more fingers.
The Devil’s Hand Leather Coral is native to the Indo-Pacific region and the Red Sea. It is most commonly found at depths of between 20 and 60 feet on reef flats near the shore. Due to its increasing popularity and ease of growth, they are also extensively aquacultured. In a home aquarium, they can be placed in a wide variety of locations as long as areas of total shadow and extremely high light are avoided. They are a peaceful coral but still require room to grow and should not be placed near aggressive corals.
This coral can adapt to a wide variety of lighting conditions but should be slowly photo acclimatized if moved to an area of the tank with dramatically different lighting. Flow should be sufficient to encourage the coral’s polyps to extend to aid in feeding. If the coral is being blown around aggressively the flow may be too high.
Like other leather corals, the Devil’s Hand Coral is photosynthetic and is able to use the aquarium lighting to meet its energy needs. It can, however, be fed a solution designed for filter feeding invertebrates and this will likely increase its growth rate.
If a hobbyist wishes to frag a Devil’s Hand Coral a piece can be cut from the mother colony and left in a low flow area of the tank with a frag plug or piece of rubble rock. The frag cannot be glued and must be allowed to attach naturally.