A Close Look at the Critters of Pulau Hantu

Date January 2, 2013

In Dec 2012, Hantu Blog diver and passionate underwater photographer, Jeemee Goh, led a group of divers out to Pulau Hantu and descended onto a reef marred by poor visibility. Perhaps it was the monsoon rains combined with massive land and coastal developments that brought the tremendous amount of silt into our waters. Whatever the reason, the creatures that live in the reefs of Pulau Hantu were riding it out, so Jeemee leaned in closer to the reef and put together this wonderful photoessay from his trip! Above: Reliable chromodoris (Chromodoris fidelis)
This young Jorunna funebris nudibranch almost looks as if it’s covered with fur, and appears more like a mammal than it is a sea slug!
Seemingly insignificant and easily missed, a tiny anemone settles onto the surface of a Sargassum algae, a type of large macro algae found around our reefs.

Singapore reefs are home to a diverse set of flatworm species. The one above, Pseudobiceros sp. is a species that has yet to be described.
Possessing the same intricate detail as a Persian carpet, Pseudobiceros bedfordi, is a magnificent flatworm, so simple and delicate, yet dazzlingly beautiful.
This juvenile Gymnodoris rubropapulosa might appear beautiful and benign but it is in fact a voracious predator on the reef. It feeds on other nudibranches, and is known to favor smaller Hypselodoris.
The Slender ceratosoma (Ceratosoma gracillimum) is one of the largest nudibranches that can be encountered on Singapore reefs.
Phyllidia elegans
It may look like an anemone but it is actually a Mushroom coral (Fungia sp.), just one of several dozen of mushroom coral species that can be found in Singapore. This picture is a close up, showing the “mouth” of the coral polyp. It is also through this “mouth” that the coral polyp releases egg or sperm, depending on its gender.
A wider shot of a mushroom coral showing its tentacles. Mushroom coral have been found feeding on jellyfish! Corals seem plant-like, but they can be ferocious predators. Unlike other corals, adult mushroom corals are able to move about on the reef and are not fastened to the substrate.
A tiny nudibranch with knobbly rhinophores.

To view more photos from this dive, visit the Hantu Blog Gallery!

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