The Sisters Islands have among our best reefs that ordinary people can visit. Here, I saw intriguing coral behaviour such as the long tentacles put out by this Carnation coral. The tentacles seem studded with powerful stingers!
Here's a pretty colony of Carnation coral (Pectinia sp.) with a fan worm. The coral didn't have tentacles extended. I wonder what makes a colony stick out its tentacles.
Ridged plate coral (Merulina sp.) for the first time!
Brain anchor coral (Euphyllia ancora). Unfortunately, the middle half seems dead. Though the edges of the colony still had living polyps.
acoel flatworm on the coral too.
Bracket mushroom coral (Family Fungiidae) with tiny stubby tentacles. Also Lettuce coral (Pavona sp.) which has tiny corallites.
Crinkled sandpaper coral (Psammocora sp.). These two species were badly hit during last year's coral bleaching. I saw only one Brain coral (Family Mussidae). There were still many Circular mushroom corals (Family Fungiidae) and many Anemone corals (Goniopora sp.) and one Galaxy coral (Galaxea sp.). As usual, there were also many large Pore corals (Porites sp.) and a great variety of Favid corals (Family Faviidae).
Sargassum seaweed (Sargassum sp.). Yesterday, Chay Hoon found the intriguing Sargassum slugs among the seaweed. She gave some tips and I tried hard to find some today. But the only special creatures I could find were many tiny green shrimps!
Ornate leaf slugs (Elysia ornata).
Velcro crab (Camposcia retusa) which sticks all kinds of living sponges and other reef debris on the hooked hairs all over its body and legs.
Hollow cheek stonefish (Synanceia horrida) is scarily quite commonly encountered on our shores!
Yellow prickly branching sponge (Pseudoceratina purpurea) often shelters fishes. This pair of Seagrass filefishes (Acreichthys tomentosus) stuck their noses against the sponge, perhaps hoping to appear to be the branches of the sponge.
Tiger-tail seahorses (Hippocampus comes) which Andy spotted. The rest of the team also spotted some seahorses elsewhere on the shore.
Eightband butterflyfish (Chaetodon octofasciatus). Today I saw three of them!
Blue-spotted stingray (Taeniura lymma). I also saw many Spangled emperors (Lethrinus nebulosus), one Freckled goatfish (Upeneus tragula) and several Burrowing snake eels (Pisodonophis crancrivorus).
Four-spot cowrie (Cypraea quadrimaculata), something I don't often see!
octopus on the sandy shore.
Haddon's carpet anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni) on the sandy shore with a pair of anemone shrimps (Periclimenes brevicarpalis)..
The team also worked hard at removing TWO driftnets that were laid across the beautiful reefs and trapped many fishes and crabs. They also damaged living corals.
four days ago. So the net was probably laid after that.
Project Driftnet blog.
Thanks also to Andy and Russel for bringing delicious curry puffs that we enjoyed before and after the trip!
Others who posted about this trip
Rene on facebook with feathery filefish, strange nudis, orange hermit crab and more!
Russel on facebook with lots of fishes, crabs and corals.