Phylum Cnidaria > Class Anthozoa > Subclass Alcyonaria/Octocorallia > Order Gorgonacea
Leathery sea fan
awaiting identification*
Family Gorgoniidae
updated Mar 2020

Where seen? This bushy colony with thick, fleshy branches is sometimes seen on reefs on our Southern shores. On the reef flats and at reef edges, usually among living corals. Usually only one colony is seen at a location.

Features: Colony bushy 20-30m wide, with stems that are long and not frequently branched. Each stem is cylindrical, thick (about 1cm in diameter) and fleshy with a texture that resembles leathery soft coral (Family Alcyoniidae). Usually dusky pinkish beige. Each stem has a dark, stiffly flexible wire-like central support that is sometimes exposed at the tips. Fat polyps are about 1cm long with short branched tentacles. They can retract completely leaving a smooth common tissue.

Unlike other more colourful sea fans which are found in dark places or murky water, the Leathery sea fan harbours symbiotic algae (zooxanthellae) which produces nutrients through photosynthesis and shares these with the sea fan host. They are thus found in the open in reefs with clearer water.

These sea fans may be Hicksonella princeps or Rumphella species.

Pulau Jong, May 10

Wire-like central support.

Polyps.


Terumbu Pempang Laut, Aug 10

*Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, they are grouped by external features for convenience of display
.
Leathery sea fans on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores


Tanah Merah, Jun 10
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.


Sentosa Tg RImau, Apr 21
Photo shared by Richard Kuah on facebook.

Labrador, Sep 19
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Lazarus Island, Nov 14
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.


Kusu Island, May 16
Photo shared by Jonathan Tan on facebook.

Pulau Tekukor, Jun 16
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Pulau Tekukor, Jan 17
Photo shared by Richard Kuah on facebook.


St John's Island, Oct 20
Photo shared by Vincent Choo on facebook.

Pulau Hantu, Apr 21
Photo shared by Vincent Choo on facebook.


Pulau Semakau East, Jul 15
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Pulau Semakau North, Jul 15
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Terumbu Hantu, Jul 19
Photo shared by Liz Lim on facebook.


Terumbu Bemban, Jun 10

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.


Beting Bemban Besar, May 11
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.

Beting Bemban Besar, Mar 20
Photo shared by Abel Yeo on facebook.

Terumbu Pempang Laut, Aug 16

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.


Pulau Biola, Dec 09

Links

References

  • Fabricius, 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.
links | references | about | email Ria
Spot errors? Have a question? Want to share your sightings? email Ria I'll be glad to hear from you!
wildfactsheets website©ria tan 2008