leathery soft coral
seen? This large pink leathery coral is commonly seen on
our Southern shores. On coral rubble. With the polyps retracted, the
surface of the leathery tissue is quite smooth. When exposed at low
tide, those with finger-like shapes may look like a pile of discarded
Colony 20-50cm or larger. Sinularia species have among the greatest
variation in colony shapes among soft corals. The colony may be encrusting
with ridges, knobs or fingers, or tall with many lobes, branches,
or flat disks, leafy or dish-shaped. The leathery common tissue usually
pastel shades of pink, beige or brown.
The surface of the common leathery tissue is usually smooth as there
are only autozooid polyps and no siphonozooids. In some the surface
may appear rough due to embedded spicules (calcium carbonate spikes).
The autozooid polyps are tiny (0.5cm or smaller) with a short body
column and 8 long tentacles with feathery branches. The autozooids
can retract completely into the common tissue. Out of water, the surface
of the common tissue has only one kind of hole, where the retracted
autozooids are. The autozooid polyps may be the same colour as the
common tissue or slightly darker. The animals harbour symbiotic algae
Sometimes confused with Pimply
leathery soft coral (Lobophytum sp.) which have siphonozooids
and thus has a pimply common tissue.
Pulau Semakau, Aug 11
Sentosa, Aug 05
Sisters Island, Aug 08
leathery soft corals on Singapore shores
photos of smooth leathery soft corals on Singapore shores
*ID needs to be
confirmed. Species are difficult to positively identify without close
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience
species recorded for Singapore
Y. Benayahu and L. M. Chou, 28 Feb 2010. On some Octocorallia (Cnidaria:
Anthozoa: Alcyonacea) from Singapore and Y. Benayahu and L.
P. van Ofwegen. Aug 2011. New species of the genus Sinularia (Octocorallia:
Alcyonacea) from Singapore.
Sinularia brassica (Starry leathery