Coastal creatures of Kenting

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Coastal creatures of Kenting

The marine area in Kenting is home to a wide variety of marine species. According to surveys conducted over the years, there are over 250 species of stony corals alone, approximately 100 species of echinoderms, and more than 1,100 species of fish. There are also several hundred species of other invertebrates, such as various soft-bodied organisms, crustaceans, and more. This area has the highest diversity of marine species in Taiwan.

During the spring and summer, numerous large brown algae, resembling a brown carpet, flourish near the low tide line.

Various other types of seaweed cover the surfaces of rocks along the seashore, resembling natural floral carpets, creating a beautiful sight. Some algae carpets are even called a beautiful mistake of nature.


seaweed jn kenting

The seaweed thriving near the low tide line, like a brownish-yellow carpet.

Among the reef-building corals that grow in the waters of Kenting National Park, there are approximately 50 commonly seen species.

Some of the species frequently observed near the low tide line include Heliopora coerulea (Blue Coral), Porites spp. (Porites Coral), Acropora spp. (Acropora Coral), Montipora spp. (Montipora Coral), Euphyllia spp. (Antler Coral), Tubastraea spp. (Pillar Coral), Pocillopora spp. (Pocillopora Coral), Seriatopora spp. (Bird’s Nest Coral), Fungia spp. (Plate Coral), Echinophyllia spp. (Cup Coral), and Platygyra spp. (Brain Coral).

A colony of the blue coral, Heliopora coerulea, with externally brooding larvae

A colony of the blue coral, Heliopora coerulea, with
externally brooding larvae in Kenting

perforate coral (Montipora spp.) on stamp in taiwan

Perforate coral (Montipora spp.) on stamp in taiwan

Among the crustaceans living along the beaches of Kenting National Park, the more commonly seen species include beach roaches (Ligia spp.), helmet urchins (Colobocentrotus spp.), agile mantis shrimp (Gonodactylus spp.), Gaussia hermit crabs (Gaussiidae), palm crab hermit crabs (Palmoplax spp.), cryptic hermit crabs (Dardanus spp.), porcelain crabs (Porcellanidae), spider crabs (Majidae), short paddle crabs (Portunus holsatus), fan crabs (Xanthidae), and square crabs (Sesarmidae).

Among the mollusks, the more common species of the families Turbinidae, Olividae, Volutidae, Tonnidae, Fasciolariidae, and Muricidae include large turban snails (Turbinidae), boat-billed olives (Oliva spp.), rough-ridged olives (Oliva angulata), golden ring volutes (Amoria spp.), yellow volutes (Cymbiola spp.), rough-ridged volutes (Fasciolariidae), cowries (Cypraea spp.), yellow-toothed rock snails (Stramonita haemastoma), purple-mouth rock snails (Murex spp.), little flame cowries (Cypraea erosa), speckled turban snails (Turbo spp.), purple haze turban snails (Turbo marmoratus), and crown turban snails (Turbo cornutus).

Among echinoderms, commonly seen species include Echinothrix calamaris (Sea Urchin), Diadema setosum (Black-spined Sea Urchin), Diadema antillarum (Long-spined Sea Urchin), Echinoidea megaloplax (Mei’s Sea Urchin), Holothuria spp. (Sea Cucumber), Stichopus spp. (Sea Cucumber), Holothuria atra (Black Sea Cucumber), Holothuria forskali (Thorny Sea Cucumber), Actinopyga mauritiana (Black-spotted Sea Cucumber), and Holothuria scabra (Sandfish Sea Cucumber). Additionally, common sightings include sponges, sea anemones, sea pens, sandworms, and sea squirts.

The fish species found along the shores of Kenting National Park include Balistidae (Triggerfish), Lutjanidae (Snappers), Sparidae (Porgies), Scaridae (Parrotfish), Chaetodontidae (Butterflyfish), Siganidae (Rabbitfish), Labridae (Wrasses), and Gobiidae (Gobies).

Fasciolariidae in kenting

Fasciolariidae in Taiwan

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