What a pretty crab! I've not seen one like this before! And Kok Sheng found a basket star too!
The crab had pretty blue markings on the underside!
Swimming crab (Family Portunidae).
basket star (Family Euryalidae) which Kok Sheng found. We rarely see this animal on our shores. This is only the second time we've seen one on Sisters Island since Chay Hoon found a basket star here in 2007.
Tiger-tail seahorse (Hippocampus comes)! It was quite lively and hard to shoot.
Phyllidiella pustulosa which is commonly seen on many of our reefs. Chay Hoon found two Bornella sp.
Oct 2011. Although there is still a massive bloom of Sargassum seaweed (Sargassum sp.) on Sisters Island, the water is clear and the tide surprisingly lower than predicted. So we could carefully survey the island to see how the corals there are doing.
coralline algae that had turned white. Coralline algae acts somewhat like a pink cement, encrusting dead corals on a reef. Oh dear. Is this something to worry about?
Brain anchor coral (Euphyllia ancora) is still there. Although the centre portion of the colony is dead, the edges seem very much alive.
Acropora corals (Acropora sp.).
Brain corals (Family Mussidae).
Branching montipora corals (Montipora sp.).
Carnation coral (Pectinia sp.). This coral seems to be doing very well on Sisters Island. The coral has a delicate fluted skeleton which is hidden under the fleshy tissues.
Ridged plate corals (Merulina sp.), which also seems to do well here.
Lettuce coral (Pavona sp.).
Circular mushroom corals (Family Fungiidae) are still there and they all look happy and unbleached. These corals grow unattached to a hard surface!
Bracket mushroom coral (Family Fungiidae) which grows attached to a hard surface.
Favid corals (Family Faviidae) of all sizes. I saw several Tiny-ringed corals (Cyphastrea sp.). The colony with bumps looks unusual.
Pore corals (Porites sp.) of all sizes. Most of them seemed healthy although I saw a few that were rather pale.
Flowery disk corals (Turbinaria sp.) and all of them were rather pale. There was also one nice delicate looking Thin disk coral (Turbinaria sp.).
Crinkled sandpaper coral (Psammocora sp.), and one colony of Galaxy coral (Galaxea sp.). There were some small Anemone corals (Goniopora sp.) colonies, but I didn't manage to get to the big colony in the middle of the lagoon due to the Sargassum bloom. I also didn't see any Cauliflower corals (Pocillopora sp.).
Leathery soft corals (Family Alcyoniidae).
Ridged corallimorphs which I don't often encounter.
Carpet corallimorphs were also seen here and there.
Bubble tip anemone (Entacmea quadricolor) as a few of the tentacles had a white band. Later on, we also saw one large Haddon's carpet anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni) on the sandy shore.
our last trip here in Oct 2011.
Sisters Island lies next to major international shipping lanes in the Singapore Straits. Accidents can result in oil spills, such as the oil spill earlier this month near Pulau Senang and Pulau Pawai. Some container ships like this one, pass alarmingly close to Sisters Island.
a rock near the Sisters Islands in 2009. Here's a photo of this ship in the distance, between the two Sisters Islands.
The two Sisters Islands are in the foreground with the ship in between the two islands.
There are indeed many things that can harm the reefs on the Sisters Islands. Thankfully, so far, they seem alright.