A huddle of horses! At first I saw two. Then I realised there were three Tiger-tail seahorses (Hippocampus comes) clinging onto to this branching sponge!
Among the first animals I saw were two red feather stars! But I didn't really take a closer look for commensals. Younger backs are needed for that!
Brain anchor coral (Euphyllia ancora), Lettuce coral (Pavona sp.), Brain corals (Family Mussidae), Thin disk coral (Turbinaria sp.), Crinkled sandpaper coral (Psammocora sp.) and Ridged plate corals (Merulina sp.). Also some Circular mushroom corals (Family Fungiidae).
Flowery disk corals (Turbinaria sp.), Ridged plate corals (Merulina sp.), Anemone corals (Goniopora sp.). And lots of Favid corals (Family Faviidae) in a wide range of colours and patterns.
Pore corals (Porites sp.), next to another that is the usual healthy brown. It's that time of the year when I start to worry about mass coral bleaching as the summer season heats up the oceans world wide. So I get nervous when the corals don't look quite right.
Carnation coral (Pectinia sp.), I got a glimpse of a little blue fish hiding in the crevices. I failed to get a good shot of it.
Copperband butterflyfish (Chelmon rostratus) and another pretty banded fish that I don't know.
Eightband butterflyfish (Chaetodon octofasciatus) which I don't come across often.
Blue-spotted stingray (Taeniura lymma) in the lagoon. Later on, I found out that Geraldine had found the dreaded Hollow cheek stonefish (Synanceia horrida) in the lagoon too! It's important to be careful when walking on the reef flats, especially in the dark!
Fan worms (Family Sabellidae) are another kind of animal that is often seen living with hard corals. I also came across several small colonies of Leathery soft corals (Family Alcyoniidae) of various kinds. As well as many different kinds of sponges.
Blue line flatworms (Pseudoceros sp.) I saw two Persian carpet flatworms (Pseudobiceros bedfordi) and one Ornate leaf slug (Elysia ornata) which is not a flatworm but sometimes mistaken for one.
Magnificent sea anemone (Heteractis magnifica) with a pale body column, or a Bubble tip sea anemone (Entacmea quadricolor) with 'deflated' tentacle tips. I couldn't see any 'Nemo's in it. I also came across several Giant carpet anemones (Stichodactyla gigantea), and of course, many Frilly sea anemones (Phymanthus sp.).
squid had squirted a blob of ink! The ink doesn't disperse, but remains floating in the water in approximately the same size and shape as the squid. Meanwhile, the squid had turned paler and scooted away. I can see how this can confuse a predator!
Long black sea cucumber (Holothuria leucospilota).
Haddon's carpet anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni) and lots and lots of Peachia anemones (Peachia sp.).
Terumbu Hantu last month. The one at Sisters Island was well wedged into a dead coral.
January. I'm glad to see that the reef seems fine. It wasn't even sunrise when the tide turned!
Hoping for good weather tomorrow. For another early morning trip, this time to Little Sisters Island!
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