07 May 2012

Back to stunning Sentosa Serapong reefs

There are astonishing reefs at Sentosa Serapong! For the first time, we visit during a super low spring tide well before dawn.
We got a good look at the marvellous corals, 'Nemos' and more on this narrow reef next to the Sentosa golf course at Serapong.

The most astonishing animal spotted, I saw only when I got home! I didn't notice that this red feather star has the white commensal brittle star (Ophiomaza cacaotica) in it! I've only seen this once before at Raffles Lighthouse.
Kok Sheng showed us a patch of large well-grown Acropora corals (Acropora sp.) that he saw on our last trip! Indeed, many of the corals on this shore are large and well-grown.
The shores here are teeming with sponges, hard corals and soft corals! There are leathery soft corals (Family Alcyoniidae) of all kinds here.
Here's another view of colourful sponges, hard corals and soft corals.
Here's another colourful patch of hard corals among fluffy soft corals.
Some parts of the shores reminds us of Tuas, with plenty of flowery soft corals (Family Nephtheidae) and Button zoanthids (Zoanthus sp.). I even saw the nasty stinging hydroids that are very common on Tuas as well.
I was really glad to see many healthy brown Cauliflower corals (Pocillopora sp.). Some of the colonies were quite large. Many of them had a pair of bright red crabs (Trapezia cymodocea) that live only in these corals. Kok Sheng and Marcus also got photos of some interesting coral commensals.
There seems to be various kinds of Acropora corals (Acropora sp.) here. This coral is rather delicate and is seldom found so close to the mainland!
I particularly like Galaxy coral (Galaxea sp.) because of their structure and they are often quite colourful.
Some special corals that I don't see very often include a boulder-shaped sandpaper coral (Psammocora sp.), encrusting horn coral (Hydnophora exesa), an encrusting horn coral. I also saw a small Carnation coral (Pectinia sp.).
In particular, there are many nicely formed plate corals like these Disk coral (Turbinaria sp.) of various kinds.
I saw this twisty Mole mushroom corals (Polyphyllia sp.). Marcus also saw some other mushroom corals.
I only saw two partially bleaching corals. This is similar to what I've been seeing on our shores recently. I hope this is nothing to be alarmed about, but as always, we keep an eye for mass coral bleaching.
More glimpses of clusters of hard corals crammed against one another on the shore. As with most of our reefs, Favid corals (Family Faviidae) are abundant. There were also Pore corals (Porites sp.), large colonies of healthy Anemone corals (Goniopora sp.), a few patches of Small Goniopora corals (Goniopora sp.), some large Sandpaper coral (Psammocora sp.), a few Brain corals (Family Mussidae), and some branching Montipora corals (Montipora sp.). Kok Sheng also came across some Anchor corals (Family Euphyllidae). I missed seeing the Ridged coral (Merulina sp.) and Lettuce coral (Pavona sp.) that I saw on our previous trip last year.
There were lots and lots of red feather stars (Class Crinoidea) clinging onto the large Montipora corals (Montipora sp.) and other corals on the shore.
I didn't notice, until I got home, that there were some other kinds of feather stars among the red ones too!
Kok Sheng and I managed to make it to the area with the Magnificent anemones (Heteractis magnifica before the tide turned. There must be about 10 of these large sea anemones there, and every single one of them were full of Clown anemonefishes (Amphiprion ocellaris). I only managed this feeble shot of some small anemonefishes. Kok Sheng got a great shot of a larger fish. There was also a Giant carpet anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea) in the area.
I was focusing on corals but got distracted by some crabs and crustaceans.
It's much easier to photograph fishes at night! They are more lively and yet are not so skittish. Among the fishes I saw were some that I couldn't identify, as well as a Bengal sergeant (Abudefduf bengalensis), some kind of wrasse (Family Labridae), and a toadfish (Batrachomoeus trispinosus).
We also saw a large jellyfish. A huddle of small fishes were swimming among its tentacles!
Among the sluggy stuff I came across were an Ornate leaf slug (Elysia ornata), Phyllidieila nigra. Shao Wei found a pretty purple spotted flatworm (Pseudoceros laingensis). She also found a Synaptid sea cucumber (Family Synaptidae) and lots of other reef creatures too!
There were also lots of different kinds of sponges!
There many large Barrel sponges (Xestospongia testudinaria) here!
I came across one clump of Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides), Marcus saw Sickle seagrass (Thalassia hemprichii) while Kok Sheng found some Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis).

All too soon it was sunrise and the tide really turned. The golf course siren also sounded the alarm for incoming weather, so we had to leave. (The alert is quite accurate as it started raining soon after we left!)
A quick last look before we head out. Thanks once again to Sheila, Shao Wei, and all the staff at the Golf Club for looking after us.
High resolution photos of this trip are on wildsingapore flickr.

Posts by others on this trip
  • Marcus Ng on facebook with beautiful nudi, and awesome pink brittle star, elusive machine gun shrimp, lots of corals and more!
  • Kok Sheng with lovely anemonefishes, cowry, baby spider conch, lots of corals and more! 
  • Pei Yan with octopus, fishes, seagrasses, corals and more!


Related Posts with Thumbnails