Corals Spawning in Singapore!

Date April 23, 2014

Sunset signals our descent!

Descended onto a cleaning station where some rabbitfish and fusiliers were queuing up to get themselves primed, but were too shy to stick around when I came around with my camera.

Moved in closer to the reef to have a look at the school of little fish that had gathered under the coral head. It’s been a long time since I’ve encountered a reef scene such as this in local waters, though divers in Indonesia might find it a rather common scene.

Chay Hoon begins her hunt for nudibranches before daylight goes out.

A close look at some coral polyps. No eggs setting in this one!

No coral eggs here, but anemonefish eggs!

Shrimp coming out onto the reef let us know that the dusk is over, and that we’ve entered the night!

A pair of Phyllidia elegans

Hypselodoris bullocki

Spider crabs cling onto the tips of corals to sift yummy bits from the current

Some corals begin to set! Eggs are coming out soon!

The setting eggs of some species of coral aren’t so obvious and in fact look rather gross! Like erupting pimple heads that need to be squeezed out! It takes quite awhile before the eggs will burst out of the coral polyps at his stage. About another half an our to go!

Nearby, some fancy flatworms.

Swimmer crabs

Oops! I just missed the spawning of this colony! But still there are some laggy polyps that are still releasing their eggs!

BOOM! What a remarkable thing to witness! Such a privilege to have been able to witness this in Singapore waters. This is my third coral spawning dive in Singapore. I learned that mostly corals at or near the reef crest will have enough energy to produce the eggs or sperm that allow them to spawn, so it’s really important that we have a good diversity of corals at the crest. Corals in colder waters, or deeper down the reef slope may never spawn.

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