seen? This colony of bumpy animals is commonly seen on
some of our Northern shores, but often overlooked as it resembles
a plant. It grows on large boulders, jetty pillings and other hard
Features: 5-8cm long. The colony
comprises a cluster of sparsely branched 'stems', forming short bushes
or bushy fringes on hard surfaces. Each long stem is a primary polyp
bearing large secondary polyps in capsules (about 1cm long) regularly
arranged along the length. The polyps can retract completely into
the capsule. Colour usually white although the colony may be overgrown
with colourful encrusting sponges and ascidians. The animals do not
have symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) and thus can be found in murky
water and dark places.
Sometimes mistaken for a sea
fan (Order Gorgonacea) or a hydroid
East Coast, Jun 09
Keppel Bay, Oct 09
Secondary polyps emerge from a capsule.
Eight branched tentacles.
Pulau Sekudu, Apr 06
Changi, Jul 07
Changi, Jul 12
Growing on a living sea fan.
*Species are difficult
to positively identify without closer examination.
On this website, the animals are grouped by external features for convenience
soft corals on Singapore shores
thanks to Chandran Rethnaraj for identifying this animal.
Katharina and Philip Alderslade, 2001. Soft
Corals and Sea Fans.
Australian Institute of Marine Science and the Museum and Art
Gallery of the Northern Territoriy. 264 pp.