May 31st 2014 Southern Kuwait
Sharing more pics after wonderful diving with Alpha Divers. Location undisclosed: South Kuwait. Conditions: Two dives in waters that are already 30 degree C. Plankton-rich, turbid, wonderful.
This site is near a much visited island, but it retains remarkable diversity. At parts of the reef, an interesting coral species, Goniopora lobata dominates. This species has huge polyps extended day-and-night and some people mistake it for a soft coral - it creates a unique habitat of flowery hummocks. The long-spined sea urchin Diadema setosum lives in groups producing "little forests" that act as protective nurseries for young fishes, the most distinct being the Persian Cardinalfish, also dressed in black horizontal lines. Startling colour patterns on purple soft coral are no other than the brilliant and uncanny brittle stars (perhaps Ophiotheia sp.), entwined tightly on the stems. And we found our first elasmobranch of the day, a Scaly Whipray - a kind of ray that we have seen before in these parts.