The park has a wide variety of
marine habitats. The rocky shores, mangrove swamps, mud flats, sea grass beds,
coral reefs and sea trenches, providing diverse and fascinating insights into
the underwater world.
The easiest to find particularly
on the shores of Peucang islaand are the brilliantly coloured reef browsing
fish with colors and patterns from nature at its most vivid and creative.
Of these perhaps the most
beautiful is the black, white and lemon vertical striped Moorish Idols with
long, sweeping dorsal fins emphasizing its gracefulness.
Delicate yet boldly patterned
butterflyfishes come in various shades white, yellow and orange with black
markings and often have a black vertical stripe through the eye. Usually found
in pairs, when alarmed they use their fins and spines to firmly wedge
themselves in crevices in the reef.
The most common clownfish in
Ujung Kulon are golden brown in color white bands across the body. Often found
sheltering amongst the tenntacles of sea anemones, the mucous of the clownfish
contains a substance that makes the stinging anemone believe it is one of its
Other outstanding fishes include
the imaginatively patterned angelfishes of which the Emperor Angelfish with
thin blue and yellow horizontal striped and a bright orange tail is a wonderful
Yet another spectacular species
is represented by the Lionfish which motionlessly hovers over the reefs
spreading black usually placid, if approached too closely can inflict an
extremely painful sting from the row of poisonous spines along its back.
Often the larger fish are just as
eye-catching with briliant red rock cod and snapper, orange striped trigger
fish, banded and mottled morays eels and exquisitely paterned surgeon fish. The
colorful parrotfish has teeth that are fused into a parrot-like beak with which
it crushes corrals and molluscs into fine coral sand. They sleep inside lose
cocoons constructed of mucous, sand and weeds in crevices in the reef.
Marine mammals that visit the
coastline include the regularly seen dolphins and the unusual and rarely seen
dugong or sea cow.
The reef builders, the stony or
hard corals make up the reefs of shallower waters. During the day many of these
area are dull brown color but at nights they are transformed into miniature
marine forests of plankton feeding tentacles.
Hard corals are built from the
skeletons of tiny marine animals called polyps and come in a wide variety of
shapes. These can resemble rocks or branching stag horns, be flat-topped or cup
shaped, appear like up-turned mushrooms or have fungi-like folding contours.
Their color tend to be more subdued than the soft corals because of the extra
sunlight in shallow waters.
The soft corals, colonizers of
established reefs, do not have the limestone skeleton of the reef builders and
instead are numerous polyp gathered around a fleshy centre. Their lovely
formations vary from fan-like shapes to branching varieties or have finger-like
tendrils and whips in colours that vary from the delicate to the vivid. The
more delicate or leafy forms tend to be found in deeper waters as they are too
fragile for strong currents.
ESTUARIES AND FRESHWATER
The mudflats and stream of Ujung
Kulon also hold a fascunating array of life forms. Mangrove swamps, rich in
nutrients aare home to two unique speciesof fish, the mudskipper and the
The bulging-eyed mudskippers,
constantly seen hoping across the water surface, often venture onto land but
must return to the water to replenish their gill chamber reserves. Mudskippers
also have the most unusual attribute of being able to climbing trees.
The clever little archerfish is
named for its practice of squirting shafts of water over 2 metres high to knock
insects off overhanging leaves.
Yet another fascinating fish,
that lives in the fresh waters of the park is a tool using fish. It clings to
the underside of floating leaves which it then manoeuvers, often against the
current and from its hiding place preys on smaller fish.
Ujung Kulon is alive with crabs
of many sizes and colors. Perhaps the most common is the small withish Ghost
crab, aptly named because of its quick disappearances, which deposits tiny sand
balls in fan shapped designs on beaches.
Hermit crabs are the species that
live inside shells, exchanging them for larger ones as the crab matures. The
laarge holes found onn the forest floor, sometimes many kilometres from the
sea, are made by mature hermit crabs that have abandoned their shells.
Fiddler crabs of colors that
include bright red and turqoise are also easily identifiable because they have
one claw far larger than the other and are sometimes seen engaging in group
claw waving sessions in defense of their holes.
the reefs and waters of the Park
have an enermous variety of marine life. A vast world of shells, sponges,
anemones, slugs, seahorse, squids, sea cucumbers, lobsters, shrimps, snails,
jelly-fishes and worms- these are just a few of the numerous creatures for
visitor to discover.