A small team head out for a long overdue trip to Pulau Hantu despite the gloomy weather. Has this beautiful shore been affected by the Bukom fire of October 2011? And the oil spill near Pulau Senang and Pawai in January 2012?
leathery soft corals (Family Alcyoniidae) on the shore opposite Pulau Bukom seemed alright. And Chay Hoon and Kok Sheng found some special sea creatures too!
The Sargassum seaweed (Sargassum sp.) 'bloom' over the reefs is massive! As a result, we couldn't explore the reef flat. While Russel and Kok Sheng explored the edges near the sea wall, I decided to spend time in the swimming lagoon.
Hantu Bloggers who visit this reef every month, I haven't been to Hantu since June 2011, and haven't done a proper check since January 2012.
Galaxy corals (Galaxea sp.) all were rather pale. Some Brain coral (Family Mussidae), Ridged plate coral (Merulina sp.), one tiny Acropora coral (Acropora sp.), a small Anchor corals (Family Euphyllidae) and some small Lettuce corals (Pectinia sp.). I also saw several healthy Cauliflower corals (Pocillopora sp.), which are usually the first to bleach.
Favid corals (Family Faviidae) that had odd yellowish patches. But they were not totally bleached.
Asparagus flowery soft corals (Family Nephtheidae) were also rather pink. But I didn't see any that there bleaching.
Circular mushroom corals (Family Fungidae)!
Sunflower mushroom coral (Heliofungia actiniformis). The other location where this happens is Pulau Semakau.
Giant carpet anemones (Stichodactyla gigantea) but alas, I didn't see any with 'Nemos'. The large Magnificent anemone (Heteractis magnifica) is still where it used to be.
Burrowing giant clam (Tridacna crocea)! Kok Sheng also saw another pretty giant clam on the outer reef.
Zebra coral (Oulastrea crispata). I didn't realise that the polyps have such delicately spotted tentacles!
Jorunna funebris and one Chromodoris lineolata. The rest saw lots of other nudibranchs in large numbers too!
settled naturally on the seawalls of Pulau Hantu. The trees look well. While inside the swimming lagoon are lots of hard corals, as well as nice long Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides). Elsewhere, there were still lots of Common sea stars (Archaster typicus), and a wide variety of healthy looking sponges.
red feather star! Chay Hoon found it! This is my first time seeing this tiny shrimp!
red sea cucumber that we are not familiar with. It has pretty yellow 'fluffy' feeding tentacles, that are very sticky. This looks like the sea cucumber we've seen at Pulau Semakau and Cyrene Reef. So it's good to finally get a closer look at it. Hopefully it can later be identified.
Alicia sea anemone (Alicia sp.)! This looks like the one Andy found at Cyrene. Unfortunately, it refused to open up nicely. Sigh.
Others who posted about this trip