Kimberley Marine Research Station, Cygnet Bay: notes on the marine faunaArticle | Updated 5 years agoJane Fromont, Clay Bryce, Glenn Moore Western Australian Museum We conducted a short faunal diversity survey at five stations at Kimberley Marine Research Station (KMRS) between 29th and 31st October 2012. The five sites visited were: Shenton Bluff reef, Shenton Bluff lagoon inshore of the reef, Riddell Point, White Rocks, and Front Beach and White Rocks reef and the habitats between the reef and mangroves (Table 1, Figure 1). Shenton Bluff reef was surveyed on snorkel, and the lagoon on snorkel and by wading. Both Riddell Point and White Rocks were surveyed on snorkel and visibility was reduced due to an incoming tide and deeper water depth; visibility was particularly reduced at White Rocks reef where a higher organic load was present in the water column. Front Beach and White Rocks reef and associated habitats were surveyed by reef walking and wading. At the time of the visit the tides were not suitable for fieldwork at Sunday Island and adjacent areas. In the following tables (Tables 1-6) are documented the habitats visited and the fauna recognised and/or photographed on the reefs. This is a preliminary list of species found on the reefs in the taxon groups: sponges, fishes, molluscs, hard corals, and soft corals. Species lists will greatly expand as fieldwork to the areas continue. No collecting of specimens was undertaken on this visit thus limiting identification of species of some taxon groups, for example sponges. These are given a general descriptor in the attached tables. We also include images of some of the species recorded (Figures 2-6). Acknowledgements. We are very grateful to James Brown and Ali McCarthy for facilitating our stay at the research station, and our surveys of the reefs. We thank Monika Bryce and Zoe Richards for identifying soft and hard corals, and Jenelle Ritchie for sorting and labelling the images. General habitat descriptions of sites visited at Cygnet Bay. Coordinates given in WGS84 Datum. Date Time Site Station Latitude Longitude Depth 29-Oct-12 6.28am Shenton Bluff Snorkel site: Intertidal lower littoral zone. CB1 S16.47949° E123.04073° 1.5 m Embayed reef with coarse coralline sand overlain with fine sediment and mixed with coral rubble. The area was dominated by small rocky outcrops and monolithic coral colonies. At times these would coalesce to form larger units of rocky reef, Acropora thicket and Pocillopora reef. Outcrops had a diverse coverage of sponges, soft corals, encrusting corals and hydroids. Macroalgae was also conspicuous. 8:45am Shenton Bluff - Lagoon Snorkel site: Intertidal lagoon CB2 S16.47797° E123.04456° 1.2 m Lagoon site that merges with CB1 at high tide. Shore of lagoon was "biscuit" limestone, black with algae and covered with barnacles, the oyster, Saccostrea cuccullata, as well as the chiton, Acanthopleura gemmata. The east side of the lagoon presented with a rocky reef, which tended to a rubble zone with fine sediment on the west side. This side of the lagoon merged with the rocky shore. The rocky outcrops of the lagoon had small colonies of soft corals, corals, sponges and hydroids, which also formed small isolated colonies amid the coral rubble. The underside of the larger rubble slabs presented a good coverage of encrusting invertebrate life. A feature of the site was a population of the giant clam, Tridacna squamosa. 9:11am Riddell Point Snorkel site: Intertidal lower littoral zone. CB3 S16.46427° E123.02876° 3 m Reef with coarse coral rubble and coralline sand. Site covered with isolated coral colonies with the green algae, Caulerpa and Halimeda. Other macroalgae were also evident. Inshore the rubble and coral colonies gave way to a gently sloping sandplain of fine sediment with a high density of the gastropod mollusc, Strombus urceus. 9:50am White Rocks Snorkel site: Intertidal lower littoral zone. CB4 S16.46193° E123.01044° 4 m Reef consisted of, and built on, fractured coral rubble from past catastrophic events probably due to prevailing trade winds and cyclonic damage. This site had many solitary corals from the family Fungiidae. The bivalve mollusc, Septifa bilocularis was very dominant, and there was a profusion of dead shell amid the coral rubble. 30-Oct-12 6:10am Front Beach Intertidal Mid-littoral zone. CB5 S16.45520° E123.01643° 0 m Mangrove fringed shoreline following a small sandy embayment leading to an abrupt beach-rock rampart. The sediment of the small embayment was coarse to fine and heavily pocked with stingray feeding-pits. The carnivorous gastropod, Nassarius dorsatus was common on the sand. The rampart consisted of large flat boulders of fractured beach rock that extended along the shoreline and out to the lower littoral. The rampart supported upper littoral molluscan communities, including a high density of the oysters, Saccostrea cuccullata and Saccostrea echinata. Small tide pools had formed in the upper littoral at the base of the rampart with isolated coral colonies and macroalgae. At the mid to lower littoral levels a low profile patch reef had formed supporting colonies of corals, soft corals and sponges. Table 2. Sponge species recorded from sites visited at Cygnet Bay. Station name Shenton Bluff reef Shenton Bluff lagoon Riddell Point White Rocks Front Beach/ White Rocks Sampling time (minutes) 60 45 15 15 60 Family Station no. CB1 CB2 CB3 CB4 CB5 Species Tetillidae Cinachyrella australiensis ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Ancorinidae Rhabdastrella globostellata ✔ ✔ ✔ Clionaidae Cliona brown ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Cliona orange ✔ Spheciospongia large orange ball ✔ Spheciospongia yellow turrets ✔ ✔ Spheciospongia black turrets ✔ Spheciospongia brown turrets ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Suberitidae Suberites? ✔ Placospongiidae Placospongia sp. ✔ Chondrillidae Chondrilla sp. ✔ Chondrilla? orange ✔ Dictyonellidae Liosina sp. ✔ ✔ Halichondriidae Cymbastela stipitata ✔ Mycalidae Mycale sp. KMB2 ✔ ✔ Iotrochotidiae Iotrochota sp. KMB1 ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Iotrochota yellow ✔ Isodictyidae Coelocarteria sp. KMB1 ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Guitarridae Tetrapocillon sp. ✔ Raspailiidae Echinodictyum clathrioides ✔ ✔ Microcionidae Clathria (Thalysias) reinwardti ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Clathria? encrusting pink ✔ Poecilosclerida encrusting red thick ✔ ✔ ✔ small orange tiny ridges ✔ ✔ ✔ low red ramose branches ✔ Callyspongiidae Callyspongia mauve cylinders ✔ ✔ Callyspongia green ✔ ✔ Chalinidae Haliclona (Gellius) cymaeformis ✔ ✔ ✔ Haliclona soft cerise ✔ Haliclona sp. 20 ✔ ✔ Haliclona low green spikey ✔ Haliclona mauve tiny ✔ Haliclona mauve ✔ Niphatidae Amphimedon orange branching ✔ ✔ Gelloides sp. ✔ Petrosiidae Neopetrosia exigua ✔ ✔ Phloeodictyidae Aka white burrowing ✔ Aka ochre/yellow ✔ Aka pink/purple ✔ Aka mound yellow turrets ✔ ✔ Irciniidae Sarcotragus black mound ✔ ✔ Thorectidae Phyllospongia? thin ✔ ✔ Phyllospongia? ridged/conulose ✔ ✔ Strepsichordaia? white fan ✔ ✔ ✔ Ianthellidae Ianthella basta ✔ Ianthella flabelliformis ✔ ✔ Verongidae Pseudoceratina? ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Total no. species recorded 38 21 12 5 17 Table 3. Fish species recorded from sites visited at Cygnet Bay. Station name Shenton Bluff reef Shenton Bluff lagoon Riddell Point White Rocks Front Beach/ White Rocks Sampling time (minutes) 60 45 15 15 60 Family Station no. CB1 CB2 CB3 CB4 CB5 Species Dasyatidae Neotrygon kuhlii ✔ Urolophidae Taeniura lymma ✔ ✔ Atherinidae unidentified ✔ Fistularidae Fistularia commersonii ✔ Serranidae Cromileptes altivelis ✔ ✔ Epinephelus fuscoguttatus ✔ Epinephelus merra ✔ ✔ Plectropomus maculatus ✔ ✔ ✔ Therapontidae Amniataba caudivittatum ✔ Terapon sp. ✔ Apogonidae Apogon thermalis ✔ Apogon rueppellii ✔ Cheilodipterus macrodon ✔ Sillaginidae Sillago sp. ✔ Echeneidae Echeneis naucrates ✔ Haemulidae Plectorhinchus polytaenia ✔ Lethrinidae Lethrinus laticaudis ✔ ✔ Lutjanidae Lutjanus carponotatus ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Lutjanus russelli ✔ Nemipteridae Scaevius milii ✔ ✔ ✔ Chaetodontidae Chaetodon aureofasciatus ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Chelmon marginalis ✔ ✔ Pomacanthidae Chaetodontoplus douboulayi ✔ Pomacanthidae cont’d Chaetodontoplus mesoleucus ✔ Pomacanthus sexstriatus ✔ Pomacentridae Amphiprion ocellaris ✔ Amphiprion rubrocinctus ✔ ✔ Abudefduf bengalensis ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Dischistodus darwiniensis ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Amblyglyphidodon batunae ✔ ✔ Neoglyphidodon melas ✔ Neopomacentrus filamentosus ✔ ✔ ✔ Pomacentrus milleri ✔ ✔ Pomacentrus nagasakiensis ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Mugilidae unidentified ✔ Labridae Choerodon cyanodus ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Choerodon schoenleinii ✔ Halichoeres nigrescens ✔ ✔ Scaridae Scarus ghobban ✔ Scarus sordidus ✔ Opistognathidae Opistognathus sp. ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Blenniidae Meiacanthus grammistes ✔ Gobiidae Amblyeleotris sp. ✔ Istigobius decoratus ✔ ✔ Valenciennea muralis ✔ unidentified (several spp.) ✔ Acanthuridae Acanthurus grammoptilus ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Total no. species recorded 27 28 8 12 15 Table 4. Mollusc species recorded from sites visited at Cygnet Bay. Station name Shenton Bluff reef Shenton Bluff lagoon Riddell Point White Rocks Front Beach/ White Rocks Sampling time (minutes) 60 45 15 15 60 Family Station no. CB1 CB2 CB3 CB4 CB5 Species Cardiidae Tridacna squamosa ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Acrosterigma spp. ✔ Pteriidae Pteria penguin ✔ ✔ Pinctada margartifera ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Isognomonidae Isognomen isognomen ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Pectinidae Chlamys sp. ✔ ✔ Ostreidae Saccostrea cucculata ✔ ✔ ✔ Saccostrea echinata ✔ ✔ Mytilidae Septifa bilocularis ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ ✔ Xenostrobus sp. ✔ Pinnidae Pinna deltoides ✔ ✔ ✔ Trochidae Trochus pyramis ✔ ✔ ✔ Trochus hanleyanus ✔ ✔ Chitonidae Acanthpleura gemmata ✔ ✔ ✔ Acanthpleura spinosa ✔ ✔ ✔ Nassariidae Nassarius dorsatus ✔ Melongenidae Syrinx aruanus ✔ Strombidae Strombus urceus ✔ Vermetidae Surpulorbis sp. ✔ Littorinidae Littoraria cingulata ✔ Cerithiidae Pseudovertagus aluco ✔ Marginellidae Marginella sp. ✔ Haminoeidae Atys cylindricus ✔ Discodorididae Discodoris boholiensis ✔ Total no. species recorded 11 14 7 5 17 Table 5. Hard coral species recorded from sites visited at Cygnet Bay. (NB. no photographs taken at CB5). Station name Shenton Bluff reef Shenton Bluff lagoon Riddell Point White Rocks Front Beach/ White Rocks Sampling time (minutes) 60 45 15 15 60 Family Station no. CB1 CB2 CB3 CB4 CB5 Species Acroporidae Acropora aspera ✔ ✔ Acropora microphthalma ✔ Acropora muricata ✔ Acropora samoensis ✔ Acropora spicifera ✔ Isopora brueggmanni ✔ Montipora digitata ✔ Montipora stellata ✔ Dendrophylliidae Turbinaria frondens ✔ Turbinaria peltata ✔ Faviidae Cyphastrea serailia ✔ Favia veroni ✔ Fungiidae Heliofungia actiniformis ✔ Herpolitha limax ✔ ✔ Sandalolitha robusta ✔ Merulinidae Hydnophora exesa ✔ Mussidae Lobophyllia hemprichii ✔ Pocilloporidae Pocillipora damicornis ✔ Seriatopora hystrix ✔ Poritidae Porites lutea ✔ ✔ Siderastreidae Psammocora contigua ✔ Total no. species recorded 13 4 5 2 Table 6. Soft coral species recorded from sites visited at Cygnet Bay. (NB. no photographs taken at CB3, CB4, CB5). Station name Shenton Bluff reef Shenton Bluff lagoon Riddell Point White Rocks Front Beach/ White Rocks Sampling time (minutes) 60 45 15 15 60 Family Station no. CB1 CB2 CB3 CB4 CB5 Species Alcyoniidae Sarcophyton sp. ✔ Lobophytum sp. ✔ ✔ Nephtheidae Nephthea sp. ✔ Chromonephthea sp. ✔ Capnella sp. ✔ ✔ Stereonephthya sp. ✔ Dendronephthya sp. ✔ Xeniidae Xenia sp. ✔ Melithaeidae unidentiifed ✔ Gorgoniidae Rumphella sp. ✔ Hicksonella sp. ✔ ✔ Total no. species recorded 9 5 Figure 1 Cygnet Bay Image copyright WA Museum Figure 2: Cygnet Bay Sponge Figures Ianthella basta Image copyright WA Museum Clathria (Thalysias) reinwardti Image copyright WA Museum Cymbastela stipitata Image copyright WA Museum Rhabdastrella globostellata Image copyright WA Museum Figure 3: Cygnet Bay Fish Figures Chaetodon aureofasciatus Image copyright WA Museum Choerodon cyanodus Image copyright WA Museum Amblyglyphidodon batunae Image copyright WA Museum Dischistodus darwiniensis Image copyright WA Museum Pomacentrus milleri (adult) Image copyright WA Museum Pomacentrus milleri (juvenile) Image copyright WA Museum Figure 4: Cygnet Bay Mollusc Figures Strombus urceus Image copyright WA Museum Nassarius dorsatus Image copyright WA Museum Syrinx aruanus Image copyright WA Museum Serpulorbis sp. Image copyright WA Museum Tridacna squamosa Image copyright WA Museum Figure 5: Cygnet Bay Hard Corals Figures Acropora aspera Image copyright WA Museum Seriatopora hystrix Image copyright WA Museum Lobophyllia hemprichii Image copyright WA Museum Acropora muricata Image copyright WA Museum Psammocora contigua Image copyright WA Museum Pocillopora damicornis Image copyright WA Museum Turbinaria peltata Image copyright WA Museum Figure 6: Cygnet Bay Soft Corals Figures Xenia sp. (Xeniidae) Image copyright WA Museum Lobophytum sp. (Alcyoniidae) Image copyright WA Museum Capnella sp. (Nephtheidae) Image copyright WA Museum Dendronephthya sp. (Nephtheidae) Image copyright WA Museum Rumphella sp. (Gorgoniidae) Image copyright WA Museum Hicksonella sp. (Gorgoniidae) Image copyright WA Museum View the discussion thread.