My first time properly exploring the rich northern reefy edge of Pulau Semakau! With lots of interesting finds.
We finally decided to visit the part of northern Pulau Semakau that faces the rich reefy shores of Terumbu Raya. This shore is usually a very long walk by land, so we decided to make an amphibious landing there!
Among the special finds is this Tiger cowrie (Cypraea tigris) which is rather well camouflaged when its 'hairy' mantle covers its shiny shell.
Terumbu Semakau as well as Terumbu Raya while divers sometimes spot them at Pulau Hantu.
Corallimorphs (Order Corallimorpharia) are not true sea anemones. They were growing among Button zoanthids (Zoanthus sp.).
ridges, others look like hairy short-pile carpets and yet others have beaded oral disks. They all have yet to be identified.
octopus sliding away into its burrow.
Thurdilla slug first before I realised there was a nudibranch nearby: Chromodoris lineolata.
Gymnodoris rubropapulosa, Jorunna funebris and Phyllidiella nigra.
Yellow-lipped sea krait (Laticauda colubrina) slithered into my frame! It was slowly and methodically checking all the crevices including the one near my bootie! Although this snake has venom deadly to humans, it is a calm and peaceful snake that will not harm anyone if it is left alone to go about its business.
Xenia soft corals (Heteroxenia sp.). I have seen them on the Eastern shore of Pulau Semakau as well as some nearby Terumbus, so it's not really a big surprise to see them here too.
Stichopus hermanni which so far I've only seen on Pulau Semakau. Those seen were black or dark green, but I've searched online and it seems this sea cucumber may also be pale.
Bubble-tip sea anemones (Entacmea quadricolor) were bleaching. Most had signs of anemonefishes but the fishes were too shy to show themselves.
Magnificent anemones (Heteractis magnifica), several Giant sea anemones (Stichodactyla gigantea) and one Fire anemone (Actinodendron sp.). Of course, also many Frilly sea anemones (Phymanthus sp.). None of the anemones I saw were bleaching.
Anchor corals (Family Euphyllidae) and Cauliflower coral (Pocillopora sp.). I didn't notice any Crinkled sandpaper coral (Psammocora sp.) though.
Favid corals (Family Faviidae) and most of them seemed alright except for a few small ones on the reef crest that were bleaching.
Pore hard corals (Porites sp.) were abundant and most were alright except for a few that were very pale.
Brain corals (Family Mussidae) on this part of the shore and most were alright although a few were very pale and some had small bleaching patches.
Anemone and Goniopora corals (Goniopora sp.) I saw were rather pale but none were bleaching.
Lettuce coral (Pavona sp.), Carnation coral (Pectinia sp.), Horn corals (Hydnophora sp.), Galaxy corals (Galaxea sp.), Montipora corals (Montipora sp.). None of those I saw were bleaching.
Disk corals (Turbinaria sp.) I saw were very pale or bleaching, but other plate-like corals like Montipora plate corals (Montipora sp.) and Ridged plate corals (Merulina sp.) were not.
Tongue mushroom coral (Herpolitha limax) and Bracket mushroom corals (Podabacia sp.) were slightly pale or had pale patches, but I didn't see any that there fully bleaching. I also saw Circular mushroom corals (Fungia sp.), Mole mushroom coral (Polyphyllia talpina) that seemed alright.
Omelette leathery soft corals and most of them were not bleaching.
leathery soft corals (Family Alcyoniidae) at the reef crest in deeper water. Most of the other leathery soft corals and flowery soft corals (Family Nephtheidae) I saw were not bleaching.
Barrel sponges (Xestospongia testudinaria) as well as a wide variety of colourful sponges.
We get a break in September and most of October as there are very few low tides then. The low spring tides will be in the evening for the rest of the year. The glorious morning tides will only resume next year around March or April.
Being away from the shores due to lack of low tides means we can't check the shores for bleaching and other impacts like fishing. I hope the shores stay well until we resume our surveys.
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