leathery soft coral
Updated Nov 2019
seen? This leathery soft coral with polyps like
little stars is sometimes seen on some of our shores. Among
coral rubble and sandy areas near reefs.
Features: The colony about
10-15cm in diameter. Sometimes covering large areas of 50cm or more. The
colony may be thick, disk-like with a highly ruffled edge, or encrusting
with knobs, lobes and fingers. The surface of the leathery common
tissue usually has many large spindle-shaped structures usually paler
than the common tissue. This is more obvious when the colony is out
of water and the autozooid polyps are retracted. Common tissue may
be beige, pinkish to yellowish, or dark brown to purplish.
only one kind of polyp (autozooid) although there are very tiny spots
among the autozooids giving the leathery common tissue has a rather
'crystalline' appearance. The transparent polyps are tiny (0.2cm),
8 short conical tentacles with tiny branches, the body column hardly
seen. The autozooids can retract completely into the common tissue.
In some, the autozooids emerge from small lumps or even long tubular
segments of the common tissue. The animals harbour symbiotic algae
During one night trip, a large colony was seen with many tiny
brittle stars all over the surface. This has not been observed
during daylight visits.
Terumbu Bemban, Jul 11
8 short fat branched tentacles.
Terumbu Berkas, Jan 10
Many fat, spindle shaped structures
embedded in the common tissue
Terumbu Pempang Tengah, Apr 12
sticking out of torn common tissue.
Tuas, Dec 03
spots give the common tissue
a 'crystalline' appearance.
Labrador, Jul 05
transparent star-like polyps.
Tuas, Dec 03
appear on lumps or tubular extensions.
*Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience
leathery soft corals on Singapore shores
|Other sightings on Singapore shores
Pulau Tekukor, Jan 17
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.
Terumbu Pempang Laut, Aug 16
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.
Pulau Biola, Dec 09
- 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