hydroid text index | photo index
Phylum Cnidaria > Class Hydrozoa
Stinging hydroid
awaiting identification*
updated Oct 2016

Where seen? This colony of tiny animals is seen on some remote Northern shores. Divers may also encounter large colonies of this animal in the Southern islands. It grows on coral rubble.

Features: Black thin branches (4-20cm long) with white feathery side branches. Some look like clumps of grass with long, sparsely branched or unbranched stems (10-20cm). Others are bushier with stems that have more branches and fern-like structures (1-3cm long).

Burning feathers : These hydroids can inflict painful burning stings that take a long time to heal. Even a slight brush against it with bare skin will cause an immediate fiery reaction, raising painful welts that eventually itch for a long time.

How to stay safe: Wear covered shoes and long pants to cover all skin exposed to water. Do not touch hydroids.

Macrorhynchia philippina has white feathery branches that pack a powerful sting.

Hydroid friends: Despite their stings, sometimes, tiny animals can be found living among hydroids.

Bushy pale stinging hydroids.
Tuas, Apr 05

Grass-like pale stinging hydroids.
Beting Bronok, Aug 05

Tiny tentacles.
Changi, Aug 12

Tiny tentacles.
Changi, Aug 12

Coils of eggs?
Changi, Aug 12

Tiny shrimp.
Beting Bronok, Jun 10

Tiny amphipods often found in large
numbers in this hydroid.

Tuas, Apr 05

*Species are difficult to positively identify without close examination.
On this website, the animals are grouped by external features for convenience of display.

Stinging hydroids on Singapore shores

Photos of Stinging hydroids for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Beting Bronok, Jun 06

Beting Bronok, Aug 06

Raffles Lighthouse, Aug 06

Tanah Merah, May 14
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Tanah Merah, Jun 16
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

St John's Island, Sep 07
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Pulau Jong, Apr 15
Photo shared by Neo Mei Lin on her blog.

Pulau Semakau North, Jul 15
Photo shared by Russel Low on facebook.



  • Gosliner, Terrence M., David W. Behrens and Gary C. Williams. 1996. Coral Reef Animals of the Indo-Pacific: Animal life from Africa to Hawaii exclusive of the vertebrates Sea Challengers. 314pp
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