By moonlight and warm weather: Hard corals in S'pore take their cues from environment to spawn

Favites abdita corals. The bundles of sperm and eggs are visible on the surface of the hard coral, and can resemble "pimples ripe for popping".
Favites abdita corals. The bundles of sperm and eggs are visible on the surface of the hard coral, and can resemble "pimples ripe for popping".PHOTO: NPARKS
The Favites abdita. Bundles on the surface can resemble ripe pimples.
The Favites abdita. Bundles on the surface can resemble ripe pimples.PHOTO: NPARKS
The Lobophyllia hemprichii spawning last week, off Raffles Lighthouse.
The Lobophyllia hemprichii spawning last week, off Raffles Lighthouse.PHOTO: NPARKS
Once released, the eggs and sperm join in the water, and can grow into new coral once they settle on a hard surface.
Once released, the eggs and sperm join in the water, and can grow into new coral once they settle on a hard surface.PHOTO: NPARKS

SINGAPORE - The "Singapore sakura" is now in bloom, with pretty pink flowers adorning the crowns of the trumpet trees here. But there is another "flowering" spell underway, unseen to many.

Hard corals in Singapore's waters are spawning - releasing pink bundles of eggs and sperms in an annual showcase that, like the trumpet trees, could also be tied to changes in the weather.

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