Here is Terumbu Bemban relative to Pulau Semakau. It looks rather small on Google Earth, but is quite large when we land. Although we had a big team, we hardly managed to cover the entire shore.
This is what the area looked like during the coral bleaching last year. Today, it looked a lot better!
The reefy edge plunges away into deep water. On the horizon is Beting Bemban Besar, which is indeed very large. On the left is another portion of Terumbu Bemban.
Moon coral (Diploastrea heliopora) and Horned coral (Hydnophora sp.).
Ringed plate coral (Pachyseris sp.) and a few colonies of Lettuce coral (Pavona sp.). Some were a little pale, but others were colourful. I didn't come across any Ridged plate coral (Merulina sp.), but perhaps I just missed seeing them.
mushroom corals (Family Fungiidae) had settled in this reefy part of Terumbu Bemban, including: Tongue mushroom coral (Herpolitha sp.), Mole mushroom coral (Polyphyllia sp.) Long mushroom coral, Circular mushroom coral, Smooth mushroom coral and Bracket mushroom coral.
small Goniopora corals (Goniopora sp.) and Anemone corals (Goniopora sp.). They seemed fine.
Acropora corals (Acropora sp.) and many of Pebble coral (Astreopora sp.). I also saw a few Montipora corals (Montipora sp.) on the higher shore.
Favid corals (Family Faviidae) everywhere on the reef. Most seemed to be alright.
Pore corals (Porites sp.), with many large colonies. I only saw a few disk corals (Turbinaria sp.), they were not bleaching.
Sandpaper corals (Psammocora sp.), Cauliflower corals (Pocillopora sp.) and a nice large colony of Euphyllid coral (Family Euphyllidae).
Galaxy coral (Galaxea sp.) and many of Carnation corals (Pectinia sp.). They seemed alright although some carnation corals were a bit pale.
Brain corals (Family Mussidae) that I saw were also rather yellow.
flowery soft corals (Family Nephtheidae).
leathery soft corals (Family Alcyoniidae). These were badly bleaching when I last visited this shore. While none were bleaching today, they were not abundant or large.
Sea mat zoanthids (Palythoa tuberculosa) and small patches of Broad zoanthids (Playthoa mutuki) and some Button zoanthids (Zoanthus sp.).
Ribbon jellyfishes (Chrysaora sp.) which were scarily abundant, we also saw little purple ones, and some transparent ones.
Wriggly star anemones and Frilly sea anemones (Phymanthus sp.). But Russel saw something that might have been a Leathery sea anemone (Heteractis crispa) which we seldom see, and the others also saw other kinds of anemones.
Phyllidiela nigra and lots of Phyllidiela putolosa. Chay Hoon also spotted two Fluted giant clams (Tridacna squamosa) near one another. Hurray!
Red coral crabs (Trapezia cymodocea) that live in this coral.
Barrel sponge (Xestospongia testudinaria). It was about 20cm across!
Mud crab (Scylla sp.). I've been seeing this crab too at the reefy part of Tanah Merah. Do some Mud crabs live in the reefs? Hmm...
Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis) and sparse tufts of Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides) here and there.
It's a relief to see that most of the corals on Terumbu Bemban were no longer bleaching. Once a year, our corals reproduce with mass spawning, usually at night during the high spring tide at around this time. There were fears that coral bleaching last year might affect this year's mass spawning. Thus I was really glad to find out from friends like Jeff and Mei Lin that they had encountered mass spawning during their dive last night! Hurray! They are busy diving at night to keep up with the orgy. I'm sure we will read about this soon on their blogs.
On the way home, we had another quick look at the amazing marine life that have settled on the pontoons at Marina at Keppel Bay! We also saw a baby Batfish, an Eight-banded butterflyfish, little pufferfish, and all kinds of other colourful reef fishes.
Russel and James and Rene.
Tomorrow, we visit yet another submerged reef!
Other posts about this trip
- Russel on facebook with leathery sea anemone, lots of corals, sting rays and scenic shots. And video clip of little damselfish.
- Kok Sheng with possible Merten's anemone, lots of corals, sea fan, cushion stars, feather star, urchins and more!
- James with great close ups of anemones, shrimps, corals and views of amazing marine life at Marina at Keppel Bay.
- Andy with video clip of a false scorpionfish.
- Rene on facebook with more leathery anemone, corals, fishes.