Leathery soft coral ctenophores
Coeloplana sp.
Phylum Ctenophora
updated Jul 12
Where seen? These tiny creatures are well camouflaged and often only spotted by the fine tentacles that they produce. Often overlooked, they are probably common on leathery soft corals on our shores. Their name is pronounced 'ten-nah-fours'.

Features: 1cm or smaller, body very flat with colour and patterns to match their host. Those seen so far were on large Omelette leathery soft corals (Sacrophyton sp.), often with many of them on one soft coral. The tiny animal produces two fringe tentacles than can be many times longer than the animal. It is used to gather food. The tentacles are stored in two large swellings on the animal.

Cyrene Reef, Jul 12

Sentosa, Nov 11

Cyrene Reef, Aug 12

Leathery soft coral ctenophores on Singapore shores
Photos for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Acknowledgement
Grateful thanks to Nicholas Yap for finding out and sharing more about these critters.

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
 
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