24 October 2009

A 'fan'tastic night!

We're back to shoot this fan-filled site at night!
And WOW! The animals sure are much livelier in the dark.

The sea fans (Order Gorgonacea) are much more attractive in the dark
Because all the little polyps are expanded. Sea fans are colonial animals, each branching fan made up of many little polyps.
And the water was clear so it was possible to take good shots of the tiny little polyps. Like other soft corals, the polyps have branching tentacles.
Sea fans come in all kinds of colours and shapes.
There were some really large ones like this beautiful white one.
And this one had spots!
Besides sea fans, there were also lots of flowery soft corals (Family Nephtheidea).
The pink flowery soft corals are particularly plentiful and attractive.
And I managed to spot a tiny nearly transparent shrimp on one of them.
There were also Leathery soft corals (Family Alcyonidae)! This one has finger-like lobes.
And another one that usually looks like an omelette when it is exposed out of water.
Other special cnidarians include this pretty hydroid (Order Hydrozoa).
It has really tiny polyps!
There were also some hard corals, like this plate coral, possibly Montipora sp.
At night, all the bright orange Cave corals (Tubastrea sp.) were in full 'bloom'. They were very easy to shoot!
Today, I also some strange anemones I've not seen before. Like these ones with a striped body column.
And these ones with bumpy body columns.
What a surprise to see small Carpet anemones (Stichodactyla sp.)!
Among the riot of soft corals were other animals such as these Thorny sea cucumbers (Colochirus quadrangularis).
I'm not sure what this pink thing is. It seemed rather stiff.
I even managed to shoot some fishes. The halfbeaks (Family Hemiramphidae) on the surface were easy of course.
And there was this unknown fish skulking among the sea fans.
While this Kite butterflyfish (Parachaetodon ocellatus) just happened to swim into focus!
I also saw this strange crab. I'm not really sure what it is.
And hanging onto a mangrove seedling was this little black sea urchin (Temnopleurus sp.).
My all time favourite sighting was this really cute jellyfish that Magdelene spotted! I've never seen anything like it before.
Have to go catch some zz's before an early morning wake up call for clean up at Semakau tomorrow. Look forward to processing the rest of these photos for upload to flickr.

More posts about this trip by the divers


  1. Wow, really beautiful shots and fantastic sea fans. One of these days, I must follow you or your team to look at sea fans.

  2. Thanks Federick.

    Wow, that would be special for you to take marine life! You take beautiful photos!



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