Today we return to Terumbu Hantu which we first visited in Apr 2012. We also hopped over to the tiny submerged reef marked with an orange * which is one of the two unnamed reefs marked as Terumbu Pempang Kecil on the navigation maps.
Horn corals (Hydnophora sp.), Galaxy corals (Galaxea sp.), Brain corals (Family Mussidae), Lettuce coral (Pavona sp.), Ridged plate corals (Merulina sp.). Most in scattered colonies.
Merten's carpet anemone (Stichodactyla mertensii) which I don't see often. Kok Sheng found two of them! There were also many many more Giant sea anemones (Stichodactyla gigantea). I saw signs of clown anemonefishes in most of them but failed to get a photo of any of them.
leathery soft corals (Family Alcyoniidae) I saw were bleached or partially bleaching. I saw two Asparagus flowery soft corals (Family Nephtheidae) that were still purple. Other bleaching animals I saw were on small patch of Sea mat zoanthids (Palythoa tuberculosa) and a few Frilly sea anemones (Phymanthus sp.). But most of these animals were not bleaching.
These Circular mushroom corals (Fungia sp.) were all bleaching.
Tongue mushroom coral (Herpolitha limax), Feather mushroom coral (Ctenactis sp.) and Mole mushroom coral (Polyphyllia talpina).
Favid corals (Family Faviidae) with bleached parts. Most were small colonies (under 15cm). The only bleached colony I saw was a small Ring plate coral (Pachyseris speciosa).
Anchor corals (Family Euphyllidae) and it was bleaching. The Crinkled sandpaper coral (Psammocora sp.) I saw either had bleaching patches or were rather pale or yellowish. These two kinds of corals were among the first to bleach during the 2010 global mass bleaching event.
Anemone corals (Goniopora sp.) were yellowish, but most were the normal purplish or brown colour.
Flowery disk corals (Turbinaria peltata) I saw were small and were yellowish or pale.
Cauliflower coral (Pocillopora sp.) were among the first to bleach during the 2010 global mass bleaching event and many didn't recover. In this colony, only a small portion is still alive, and fortunately remains unbleached. In the dead part, there were little white egg capsules of squids inserted among the branches! I didn't see any bleaching Cauliflower corals on this trip.
Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides) on this rocky reef. Most of them had long leaf blades.
Spoon seagrasses (Halophila ovalis) that sprinkled much of the sandy parts of the rocky shore.
heart cockles (Corculum cardissa). A closer look suggests they might be two different kinds? One is prettier with rounded bumps on the outer edges.
Spider conch (Lambis lambis) which Kok Sheng found. The Red eyed reef crab (Eriphia ferox), an Ovum cowrie (Cypraea ovum) and the Marine spider (Desis martensi) which is a true spider that shelters in an air bubble when the reef is submerged!
huge cloud of emissions hanging over Pulau Bukom.
NOAA’s Coral Reef Watch which gives predictions of global coral bleaching. Today's mapping shows the area in Singapore's vicinity is under watch for bleaching (green).
May 2013. But I didn't notice much bleaching elsewhere during the Southern Expedition last month. Is this happening just at Terumbu Hantu, or everywhere else? Not enough low tides, too many shores to check up on!
UPDATE On 29 Jun 2013, Karenne Tun shared on facebook that: "Sea surface temperatures in the region are edging up to uncomfortable levels. Although not at the point of trigging mass bleaching, initial signs of thermal stress have been observed on Singapore reefs.
Last Wed (19/6), some initial signs of coral bleaching was observed at Kusu Island N. Nothing major at that point in time, just paler coloured corals affecting around 10-20% of the reef community.
One week later on Thu 27/6, signs of intensified bleaching was observed at Pulau Hantu, where an estimated 30% of the reef community showing signs of partial bleaching.
Again, at this point, no wide spread bleaching was observed. The NOAA Coral Bleaching alert have put most the region at Bleaching Watch, and this has been confirmed by local SST monitoring. A check with colleagues in the region indicate that some initial bleaching have been observed in Malaysia and Philippines.
This is a call out to all divers and concerned individuals to keep an eye out for our corals. Please post sightings and photos if you have them."
Posts by others on this trip
- Kok Sheng with lots more finds and signs of bleaching too.