leathery soft coral
updated Nov 2019
seen? This large leathery soft coral may resemble a pile of smooth rubber gloves or cluster of blobs at low tide. It is
seen on our Southern shores, on coral rubble.
Features: 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.
Sentosa, Aug 05
Pulau Semakau, Aug 11
*ID needs to be
confirmed. Species are difficult to positively identify without close
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience
leathery soft corals on Singapore shores
|Other sightings on Singapore shores
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
- Y. Benayahu
and L. P. van Ofwegen. Aug 2011. New
species of the genus Sinularia (Octocorallia: Alcyonacea) from
Singapore, with notes on the occurrence of other species of the
genus. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology 2011 59(2). Pp. 117-125.
- Y. Benayahu
and L. M. Chou, 28 Feb 2010. On
some Octocorallia (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Alcyonacea) from Singapore,
with a description of a new Cladiella species. The Raffles
Bulletin of Zoology 58(1) Pp. 1-13.
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