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Bowsers Story Time


buddythelion

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I wrote this on R2R and my local forum, thought I'd share it on here as well!

 

Someone on my local section of RC was asking to help identify the differences between Candy Apple Reds (CARs), Candy Apple Oranges (CAO), Shazaams, and Bowsers. This gets brought up a lot so hopefully this post becomes a reference for other zoa addicts trying to understand the difference.

Comparing CARs to CAOs:

Here is a photo I took when I had both. Both morphs were grown right next to each other so they had the same amount of lighting, flow, and parameters.

CAOs on left, CARs on right:
CAOvsCAR2.jpg

The main difference between CAO and CARs is that CAOs get a yellow/orange ring in the middle. CARs can develop a yellow ring in higher lighting, but it won't be as bright or solid as a CAO's and it will take more effort to achieve the yellow ring than on a CAO.

These are the same CARs as above, but grown in higher lighting before I moved them into the frag tank. You can see that the yellow rings developed on some of the polyps, but it's usually only the very mature ones that get the ring and the yellow is not as solid/vibrant as the CAOs.
IMG_8372.jpg

These are Shazaams (photo credit goes to The Digital Fish Room).
I usually distinguish these from the speckled green on the face and the orange to yellow face. The green tips are also very distinguished. IMO these are very easy to tell apart from the others and shouldn't cause too much confusion.
shazaam_22829.jpg

Here is another from Chopsie.
11842826706_59aa4aea72_b.jpg

And now... Bowsers.

There's a couple of lineages on this one and I finally found the story behind each of them.

The Originals
Aquarium in Motion/Jay Painter (owner of AIM I believe):

This is the one and true Bowser. Notice how the orange-yellow ting is the DOMINANT coloration of the face. The Bowser needs to have almost all of the face yellow-orange to be on the same class as the AIM lineage. It is not how solid or bright the ring is, it's how much of the orange actually covers the face. The green in the middle is very small compared to the yellow-orange ring in the AIM Bowser. I haven't come across this lineage in my years of collecting and even asked the only person who I knew had this morph. He also agreed that most of the morphs out in the hobby are not the same. I know he had them because his photos on google are one of the few that actually are the AIM Bowsers. There are a few places that are selling AM/Jay Painter lineaged Bowsers, but I can't help but wonder how did fraggable size mini colonies of AIM Bowsers, which have essentially disappeared off the Earth popped out of nowhere? It would be great if the lineage behind those sources could be told with proof tracing all the way back to AIM.
IMG_0223.jpg


And now for the Bowsers you're used to seeing:

Dream Corals (DC) Bowsers:
This seems to be the "real" Bowser for the hobby now. The story behind this is that Dream Corals purchased the rest of the original colony from AIM and sold them under DC. Most of these polyps melted and when asked for a replacement DCmentioned that they got in a new colony of "Bowsers." When the replacements were sent, they looked nowhere near the same as the AIM version. This is because DC got a wild colony of CARs that were "brighter than regular CARs" and sold them off as DC Bowsers. So this lineage is not the same as the AIM Bowsers. They're just some wild CARs like the ones coming in now.

Dream Coral's lineage Bowser, photo credit to SinperSPS:
bowser.jpg


Cornbred (CB) Bowsers:
Originating from Joshporksandwich, these were found in a hobbyist home and ended up coloring into CAOs in his extensive care (a few times people have CAOs but don't have the right conditions to color them up to CAOs, that's my guess anyways). CB was originally selling these as CB CAOs until others starting to purchase and resell them as "Bowsers" so he changed the name to Bowsers.

Before of the CB Bowsers when first arrived in Josh's care (I believe this frag is the same as the below colony):
8285417007_191220e715_c.jpg

One month later:
8382725499_fb56cc0379_c.jpg

Summary:
So hope the lineage story was helpful, and that you enjoyed reading this! Took me a long time to find this one out and a little bit of luck by talking to the right people. I guess the moral of the story is that the Bowsers you see in the market aren't actually Bowsers, or maybe the way hobbyist grade zoas has changed and we no longer associated the orange face for Bowsers but only look for the orange ring.

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Great write-up! The only thing that isn't mentioned, that should be, is the obvious difference in the lighting of some of the pics. As we all know, corals appear different once the lighting spectrum is changed. For example the original bowser and the DC bowser. The pic of the original appears to be lit somewhere in the 14k range (if not lower), while the DC pic appears to be straight actinics.

 

Then there's editing. When I posted my photo editing thread I showed the same pic a few different times and made the color of the coral different in each of them.

 

I think the only surefire way of knowing which is which would be to have a pic of all of them in the same tank, in the same frame (like your CAO vs. CAR pic). Short of that it's honestly hard to realistically say what's what. TBH, the whole controversy surrounding these things is nauseating as far as I'm concerned. In fact, I was very tempted to pull my "CAA" off of ebay because of the BS that surrounded it once the listing was posted.

 

Please don't take this post the wrong way, I truly appreciate the effort you put in :). It is very informative, and I'm sure many will find it useful!

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Great write-up! The only thing that isn't mentioned, that should be, is the obvious difference in the lighting of some of the pics. As we all know, corals appear different once the lighting spectrum is changed. For example the original bowser and the DC bowser. The pic of the original appears to be lit somewhere in the 14k range (if not lower), while the DC pic appears to be straight actinics.

 

Then there's editing. When I posted my photo editing thread I showed the same pic a few different times and made the color of the coral different in each of them.

 

I think the only surefire way of knowing which is which would be to have a pic of all of them in the same tank, in the same frame (like your CAO vs. CAR pic). Short of that it's honestly hard to realistically say what's what. TBH, the whole controversy surrounding these things is nauseating as far as I'm concerned. In fact, I was very tempted to pull my "CAA" off of ebay because of the BS that surrounded it once the listing was posted.

 

Please don't take this post the wrong way, I truly appreciate the effort you put in :). It is very informative, and I'm sure many will find it useful!

No worries Glenn, of course it's all up for discussion!

 

While the lighting can play a role, I do not think it adds any more orange onto the face of what a Bowser should be. At most it would just accentuate the yellow-orange ring in most CAOs, but it most definitely wouldn't change the amount of orange on the face. Lighting would be when people say "you gotta trust me man, the Bowser is so much brighter in person than a CAR." Being brighter shouldn't distinguish morphs apart, it's about pattern. I'm sure that the original bowser would have looked stunning under LEDs, but it ended up being lost before LEDs got popular.

 

I haven't been in the game as long as a couple of others, which is why I had to ask them on what they knew about the story behind the Bowsers. But I have owned CARs, CAOs, Shazaams, and supposedly AIM lineage Bowsers (which ended up being just CAOs). I have yet to own the DC Bowser, but that's because I've always thought it was a sham and never thought to buy one lol.

 

I think too many people are wrapped up on CAOs being Bowsers since the DC Bowsers (which is what most hobbyist are calling the originals when they're not) are basically CAOs. I don't blame them, I think everyone hopes that what they have/find is worth $200+.

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duncan-junkie

Great info....I could never tell the difference if they were standing alone, but with pics of both together I can see the differences.

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I'm sold on getting CAO. I love CARs and I guess a orange version would be a nice addition to have.

CAOs are gorgeous! Would be the same if you bought a Bowser from someone else. :)

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zoa people are crazy.. don't get me wrong I love pretty zoas, but honestly it's hard for average non-zoa-freak hobbyists to tell those apart IMO.. cao vs car, they look nearly identicle.. then there is the mis-naming that adds to the confusion.. "this colony has the orange going 15nm farther than the other ones, I'll give it a fancy name and sell it for an extra 20pp"

 

and like Glenn said, different lighting and angles and camera settings all have a huge impact on how they look in photos..

 

great write-up though.. I've been seeing it all over the place and finally decided to read it.. :)

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zoa people are crazy.. don't get me wrong I love pretty zoas, but honestly it's hard for average non-zoa-freak hobbyists to tell those apart IMO.. cao vs car, they look nearly identicle.. then there is the mis-naming that adds to the confusion.. "this colony has the orange going 15nm farther than the other ones, I'll give it a fancy name and sell it for an extra 20pp"

 

and like Glenn said, different lighting and angles and camera settings all have a huge impact on how they look in photos..

 

great write-up though.. I've been seeing it all over the place and finally decided to read it.. :)

Thanks! The article was geared towards more zoa collectors, but glad you liked the read!

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