|On the horizon, Pulau Sudong, one of the Live Firing islands.|
The 'Terumbu Pempang' series of submerged reefs life just off Pulau Hantu and near the Live Firing Islands.
The tide is a little later this morning, so the sun is already up when we head out for this submerged reef. In the background are the petrochemical plants on Pulau Bukom, already 'making clouds'.
Leathery soft corals (Family Alcyoniidae) dominated the rocky reefs here. With many large colonies of different kinds crammed next to one another. I didn't see any that were bleaching. This is the most number of large colonies that I've seen in recent trips to the South this year.
how to tell apart large 'hairy' cnidarians seen on our shores.
Asparagus flowery soft corals (Family Neptheidae). All those I saw had the typical purplish colour.
Leathery sea fan which I suspect is a kind of sea fan because it has a 'wire' at the core of each 'finger'.
Little colourful brittlestars (Ophiothela danae) in this soft coral!
Favid corals (Family Faviidae) are the most abundant kind on this shore. Most of those I saw seemed alright, with a few showing white patches or a rather bright yellow tinge.
Pore corals (Porites sp.) large and small. Most were the usual brown colour with a few that were pinkish or greenish.
Crinkled sandpaper coral (Psammocora sp.). This kind of coral was badly affected during coral bleaching last year.
Cauliflower corals (Pocillopora sp.). This kind of coral was also badly affected during coral bleaching last year. Some of the colonies I saw today were alright, others had large portions that were still bleaching or dead.
Flowery disk corals (Turbinaria sp.), most were alright though a few were bright yellow. There were also some colonies of Encrusting disk coral (Turbinaria sp.).
small Goniopora corals (Goniopora sp.) here. Also many small colonies of Anemone corals (Goniopora sp.). All those I saw were not bleaching.
Acropora coral (Acropora sp.). Most seemed alright. There were also many colonies of Pebble coral (Astreopora sp.). The only other special coral I saw was one small Ridged plate coral (Merulina sp.).
Montipora coral (Montipora sp.) here! I've not seen such a large patch before. The corals seemed alright.
Mole mushroom corals (Herpolitha sp.) and one Tongue mushroom coral (Polyphyllia sp.). Although I saw the skeletons of many dead Circular mushroom corals, I didn't see any live ones.
Fire anemones (Actinodendron sp.). One had tucked in as the tide fell, while the other seems to have emerged with the incoming tide. It's not unusual to see these anemones in shores with seagrasses.
Giant anemones (Stichodactyla gigantea) both with very shy False clown anemonefishes (Amphiprion ocellaris). And one Haddon's carpet anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni) with a pair of anemone shrimps. But I couldn't find the Magnificent anemones (Heteractis magnifica) that I saw on my earlier trip here.
Frilly sea anemones (Phymanthus sp.).
Carpet corallimorphs. One had strange lilac 'strings' among them. I only noticed this when I got home and processed the photos. I'm not sure what is going on here. There were also the usual kinds of zoanthids (Order Zoanthidea) which were 'well behaved' and did not dominate the shores.
Common sea stars (Archaster typicus) in the sandy areas, and I only saw one Black long sea cucumber (Holothuria leucospilota).
Blue-spotted fantail rays (Taeniura lymma). Most were too quick for me to photograph. But I did see this large Fan-bellied filefish (Monacanthus chinensis) and a tiny bright blue baby damselfish. The rest of the team saw butterflyfishes!
The Sinki Beacon marks the western most part of the Terumbu. Beyond it is Selat Sinki, a major shipping lane, and on the horizon, Jurong Island. In the photo, you can see the growths of seagrasses that is found on almost every part of the rocky-reefs here.
Sickle seagrass (Thalassia hemprichii), which formed sparsely especially among the rocky areas. There was also Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis) everywhere, particularly on the sandy area in the middle. Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides) were very sparse, forming small clumps here and there. Although these seagrasses didn't form dense meadows such as those seen on Cyrene Reef, it was nice to see the seagrasses almost everywhere I went on the Terumbu.
Hairy green seaweed (Bryopsis sp.) was abundant on the higher shores, while there were tame growths of Sargassum seaweed (Sargassum sp.) on the lower shores.
massive construction for the Berlayar boardwalk seems to be nearly completed. I'm still astounded by how huge the boardwalk is and the massive extent of the construction. We shall just have to see later on whether the marine life here has been impacted by this.
Other posts about this trip
- James with giant clam, sea hare, tiny slugs, lots of great closeups of corals.
- Russel on facebook with butterflyfish, sting ray, lots of colourful corals.
- Kok Sheng with lot of anemones, giant hermit crab and more, also video clips of giant hermit crab, spider conch flipping itself back and more.
- Rene on facebook with lots of corals, giant reef worm and fishes