Sunday, May 8, 2016

Coral overdose at Kusu Island

Kusu Island is home to hard corals that grow in high density on the intertidal shore. They are exposed only at good low spring tides which usually happen at predawn hours.

Despite having to wake up super early, we will occasionally be rewarded with spectacular breath-taking sunrises such as this!

The Plate montipora corals (Montipora sp.) are growing so well at Kusu that you can't believe this shot was taken from Singapore. There is hardly any space to even navigate among the corals.

There are also other types of plate-like, branching and boulder-shaped corals that are found close to each other.

At the water's edge during the lowest tide level, one can get a glimpse of the thick growths of even more hard corals packed closely beside each other.

Here's another look at another stretch reef edge.

It's quite uncommon to see huge growths of the Acropora corals (Acropora sp.) and Kusu is quite pristine to have them.

What's special in Kusu would also be the explosion of Magnificent anemones (Heteractis magnifica). I saw a False clown anemonefish (Amphiprion ocellaris) on one of them.

This Red-tipped flatworm (Pseudoceros bifurcus) was found over the pink ascidian. We suspect this flatworm feeds on this type of ascidian.

I came across this huge stingray at the murky water and was apprehensive to go closer to check out more as they are capable to jabbing. Took a few shots to process photos at home to find out more.

Here's a closer look at the stingray. Not too sure about it's identity though.

Chay Hoon once again amazed us with her microscopic find of this slug that is usually found on the Blue coral (Heliopora coerulea).

As the coral bleaching season is starting, we noticed a few of the Haddon's carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni) are losing its zooxanthellae or symbiotic algae.

Here's a last look and check at the corals inside the lagoon. They looked ok!

And here's signing off with a sunrise shot from land.

More photos of the trip can be found here:

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