[Coral-List] Black cyanobacterisponge, Terpios hishinota, outbreak in, coral reefs and geographic information needed (Allen Chen)

Thomas Le Berre thomas at seamarc.com
Thu Feb 19 03:06:56 EST 2009

Dear Allen,

We also have lots of Terpios in the Maldives, and I find it quite 
alarming. I have seen it in 2005 in some places, but a lot in Baa Atoll 
in June. They tend to be more abundant in reefs with a better coral 
cover, and usually more developed on the parts of the reef where the 
current is going along the reef. Typically, the main forcings (currents 
and winds) are in the east-west direction here, and they will colonized 
more the northern and southern sides of the reef. This could be linked 
to the way they propagate or alternatively they may also require calmer 
conditions to spread. They look strong and will spread on many different 
species of corals, covering almost entirely large patches.
This could also be related, we have other types of invasions by 
zoanthids (Z. mantoni), which does not seem to actually kill the corals, 
but probably hinders coral recruitment, and corallimorphs (Discosoma 
sp.), which kills some species of corals.These would probably have 
colonized dead areas after the 1998 bleaching, whereas the Terpios seems 
more abundant on the reefs that are recovering the best (again, in Baa 
atoll). It seems important to have a better look into this.


Thomas Le Berre
Managing Director
Seamarc Pvt Ltd
M. Maya, Gandhakoali Magu
Male', Rep of Maldives

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