Explanation on How Zoas Get Their Names

Legendary Corals

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Legendary Corals submitted a new Article:

Explanation on How Zoas Get Their Names

I was trolling the zoanthids section of this forum (as usual) and ran across a very interesting topic, asking what does a zoa name really mean (it was interesting because the reefer is a researcher interested in genetics and wanted to see if all zoas were lineaged back to one name)? To save him the trouble I wrote a brief explanation...

Read more about this article here...
 
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fungia_fiend

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IMO corals that share names should be clones. Naming wild colonies the same as existing, established morphs just leads to dilution of what the name means. It makes it harder to get exactly what you're looking for. The only reason I care about names is so I can get a clone of a morph that is known to do well and keep great colors in captivity. If you sell a wild colony with that same name, IMO you are doing a disservice to the hobby. In all honesty, I avoid vendors that do that as much as possible.

Just my opinion, not meant as an attack, but this subject really bothers me (because I've been burned with falsely named corals that don't look half as good as the actual named piece).
 

Shep

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IMO corals that share names should be clones. Naming wild colonies the same as existing, established morphs just leads to dilution of what the name means. It makes it harder to get exactly what you're looking for. The only reason I care about names is so I can get a clone of a morph that is known to do well and keep great colors in captivity. If you sell a wild colony with that same name, IMO you are doing a disservice to the hobby. In all honesty, I avoid vendors that do that as much as possible.

Just my opinion, not meant as an attack, but this subject really bothers me (because I've been burned with falsely named corals that don't look half as good as the actual named piece).
Yea but then you have 100000 different named corals that all look really really similar, which would just confuse everyone.
 

fungia_fiend

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Yea but then you have 100000 different named corals that all look really really similar, which would just confuse everyone.

Not everything needs a name. I think 1000000 names is better than me paying $50 for "candy apple reds" that are dull and brown. I'm not sure when this shift happened in the hobby, but it didn't used to be like this. Names were clones. Period.
 

fungia_fiend

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Oh and just to be absolutely clear to anyone reading, this is *not* a dig at Legendary Corals. They are definitely not the vendor I'm picking on here (and I won't name names either).
 

Shep

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Not everything needs a name. I think 1000000 names is better than me paying $50 for "candy apple reds" that are dull and brown. I'm not sure when this shift happened in the hobby, but it didn't used to be like this. Names were clones. Period.
Haha I could not agree more, I don't think corals really even need to be named but that wont stop people from giving everything a name.
 

fungia_fiend

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Haha I could not agree more, I don't think corals really even need to be named but that wont stop people from giving everything a name.

I love beautiful unnamed pieces. I'm definitely not an "only named pieces" reefer, but I think names are useful for pieces that are established in the hobby and truly stand out. I'm thinking of things like the Oregon Tort. There are a billion torts, but if you want a blue tort you will not find something better than the true Oregon Tort.

But, at the end of the day, this is a hobby with a very high turnover. People (and vendors) are going to call things what they're going to call things.
 

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You have too much time in your hands lol. Love the write up bro!
 

Keithcorals

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Great writeup I agree with most of what you say but I don't think you "saved him some time" at all. The idea that anyone really knows if they got a polyp that grew from the original named polyp is very hard to say in most cases. I think the idea of us using genetics to discover how divers a certain named zoa is is awesome. It's interesting info about how diverse a single zoa "morph" really is. At least that was my impression. I named the electric Oompa Loompa years ago and I would love to know if a lot of them to this day are from the original three polyps I named. I still have polyps grown from the original named polyps and offered them for testing. I think it's a cool idea
 

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EXCELLENT write up! I love that you have taken the time to explain both the aspect of naming for identification AND for lineage and how each is handled in names. Awesome stuff!
 
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Not everything needs a name. I think 1000000 names is better than me paying $50 for "candy apple reds" that are dull and brown. I'm not sure when this shift happened in the hobby, but it didn't used to be like this. Names were clones. Period.
Not everything needs a name. I think 1000000 names is better than me paying $50 for "candy apple reds" that are dull and brown. I'm not sure when this shift happened in the hobby, but it didn't used to be like this. Names were clones. Period.
This is a question I predicted would pop up. I hoped that I had already explained in the write up but I wasn't specific enough. The "shift," if you will, occurred because more colonies of the "same" morph of the same colony came in, it's simply something that can be expected over time since there isn't a "finite" amount of one morph in the wild. If someone sold you "candy apple reds" that ended up being a different morph, then that's a simple mistake of mis-identification.


"I swear, they're Candy Apple Reds!!!" Uh-huh... sure...

For lineage purposes, that's what the JF or LC that I explained is for. Then there is a reference that it did originally come from that seller and is an offspring of that exact colony. However, it's just my opinion (and that's what this hobby is basically made of), that it does not need to be exactly lineaged to one original coral to be given that name if it looks exactly the same. Let's use your Candy Apple Red example. If you went up to a reefer's tank and saw a zoa that looked like Candy Apple Reds, wouldn't you ask them "hey, are those candy apple reds?" You wouldn't ask them to trace back to where they came from and all the way back to the first Candy Apple Reds that ever were brought in would you? If you could, I would love to read up about that as morph history is a very interesting topic for me.

How can you be so sure that these are all the offsprings of one first colony? And to be honest, why would you care if you're only looking for a morph that looks just like a "Candy Apple Red?" (just more images from google)

Introducing Candy Apple Scarlets!


I'm not sure these came from the first ever Candy Apple Reds so... Candy Apple Rubies?


Not sure on these ones either... Guess they're Candy Apple Roses?


Dang, this one is a new colony. So... Candy Apple Strawberries?!?!?

The short answer is you can't be sure and it's almost impossible to find what you're asking for. Most reefers would agree that these are all Candy Apple Reds (I know there are some that do the whole grading scale on Bowsers, Candy Apple Oranges, etc, but let's leave that out for now). In the last photo of that group pack, the Candy Apple Red on the middle right was actually from a wild colony we found. We named it Candy Apple Reds because... well... what else is it? I don't think reefers would want (well, at least I wouldn't want) us to rename them as say LC Fuji Apples just because it's not of the same lineage (I actually foresee flaming if we did that LOL). It defeats the whole purpose of the naming aspect, which is to be used as a reference. If you bought that from us, wouldn't you be pretty happy to call them Candy Apple Reds? Don't you think getting mad since they weren't from the first polyp every discovered is a bit too picky, and it takes away from the fun part of collecting? If there are new names for morphs that look basically the same, then what's the point in the name? If you're looking for the exact same Candy Apple Red morph from say "Mr. Awesome Reefer," you'd have to go and find "Mr. Awesome Reefer's Candy Apple Reds," and it's as simple as that. It's not exactly fair either to be only applying a special rule of "lineaged back to one polyp" on only specific morphs and not all morphs, as the name game should apply to everything.

And like you said, some people call certain sticks Oregon Tort when you say it clearly isn't as blue or has that special structure that makes an Oregon Tort and Oregon Tort. Well, that's simple. It's mis-identification again! It's not an Oregon Tort. If say a LFS goes around selling a new piece they got in as Oregon Tort, but when you put the new piece next to the original piece and it doesn't look the same, then it's not an Oregon Tort. If you're looking for Tyree Oregon tort that lineaged back to Tyree, then you need to find a "Tyree" Oregon Tort (although if memory serves me right Oregon Tort actually originated somewhere else).

This is just my opinion btw, as there certainly isn't only one "right" way to view and enjoy the hobby. :)
 
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Great writeup I agree with most of what you say but I don't think you "saved him some time" at all. The idea that anyone really knows if they got a polyp that grew from the original named polyp is very hard to say in most cases. I think the idea of us using genetics to discover how diverse a certain named zoa is is awesome. It's interesting info about how diverse a single zoa "morph" really is. At least that was my impression. I named the electric Oompa Loompa years ago and I would love to know if a lot of them to this day are from the original three polyps I named. I still have polyps grown from the original named polyps and offered them for testing. I think it's a cool idea

Don't get me wrong, I thought his idea of trying to make a genetic tree of certain morphs was an awesome idea! That's what got my interest in the thread in the first place. But I do see a lot of problems with it, and it's definitely a very difficult task. How can we be so sure that some morphs are not the exact same species, but just have slightly different traits like how certain wrasses look different in certain collection sites? If that's the case, his DNA tree would have troubles since it would link back what hobbyist define as "two different morphs" into one, and that's not the case. Names are usually used as reference. If those wrasses found in different sites were corals, you know they would be given different names lol! I think if you had named them "KC's Electric Oompa Loompas" then you would be able to find out which ones came from you a lot easier. :)

But an easier and fun way for all reefers to try this science experiment out is get two different "lineages" of a morph and just put them next to each other. If they're truly the same, then they'll combine together into one big colony. Simple!

But he did ask and wonder why LFS don't bring in colonies of rastas and only get them from trade ins from hobbyist and the difference between named for lineage and named for color morph. That goes back to fungia_fiend's comment, which is just a different way some people view names (lineage vs morph color). IMO, it should be morph color. If it's lineage, than a lineage title should be given to keep track of lineage. And for why rastas only get brought in from trade-ins is because a wild colony of rastas hasn't come in for some time (or at least I haven't seen one). And let's just put in an entertaining scenario that a colony did come in and was sent to a LFS about 2 years ago. Everyone bought them as rastas, everyone online ID'ed them as Rastas, and after 2 years you now have a frag. If you had no idea they were from a different colony, you would be more than happy to have them and call them rastas! All of a sudden... you find out they're not the same exact lineage *gasp*. Why would that make you like them any less or stop calling them rastas? The real answer is that you shouldn't have to, because they look like rastas and most people are happy to call them that without knowing the lineage background.
 
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Keithcorals

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I agree that I should have attached my name in someway if I wanted to keep track of them better but when I named them no one was really doing that other than Tyree. I also have never seen them come in from the wild although some very similar ones have shown up here and there I think a lot of them are still from the first three I found. I also don't know a lot about DNA identification but I would think that because they breed like other animals that even two that look identical could be from different parent colonies and DNA test would be able to tell us if they did.
 
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I agree that I should have attached my name in someway if I wanted to keep track of them better but when I named them no one was really doing that other than Tyree. I also have never seen them come in from the wild although some very similar ones have shown up here and there I think a lot of them are still from the first three I found. I also don't know a lot about DNA identification but I would think that because they breed like other animals that even two that look identical could be from different parent colonies and DNA test would be able to tell us if they did.
I didn't even take into account of breeding. We don't even breed zoas in the hobby. But this is starting to turn into a genetics and lineage discussion now than names haha. I think I will start a thread later on about certain morphs and have reefers chime in on if they know who originated the name of that morph. That would be an awesome thread to have as reference.
 

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Good write up and excellent points, but please stop using the words "flaming and flame" makes you sound like a teenage girl who jus learned a new phrase and is trying to be cool lol jk but man are the use of those words annoying. (Hope you see I'm joking and not get offended)
 

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Good write up and excellent points, but please stop using the words "flaming and flame" makes you sound like a teenage girl who jus learned a new phrase and is trying to be cool lol jk but man are the use of those words annoying. (Hope you see I'm joking and not get offended)

Yeah. You don't wanna get flamed. LOL
 
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You have too much time in your hands lol. Love the write up bro!
Thanks man. Haven't seen a thorough article on how naming works so thought I'd make the first. ;)

EXCELLENT write up! I love that you have taken the time to explain both the aspect of naming for identification AND for lineage and how each is handled in names. Awesome stuff!
Thanks M! Glad a fellow zoa lover liked it. I tried to hit all the bases. I got messages from people telling me it helped them enjoy their cup of coffee lol.

Amazing write up, but you should have bolded hype because that's all you do you hipster! HARHARHRARHA
Hush it you hypebeast!

Good write up and excellent points, but please stop using the words "flaming and flame" makes you sound like a teenage girl who jus learned a new phrase and is trying to be cool lol jk but man are the use of those words annoying. (Hope you see I'm joking and not get offended)
LOL. You're all bullies picking on me. I just want to sound like a cool kid. :cry:
 

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Just bumping this great write-up again for those who might not have read it before. :)
 

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