Ribbon Reef

The Ribbon Reefs

Ribbon Reef

The Ribbon Reefs only occur in the northern part of the Great Barrier Reef extending from Cooktown to eastern Torres strait, a distance of 670 kilometres. They form along the continental shelf


Olive Sea Snake ( Aipysurus Laevis ) The Olive Sea Snake is a dangerous venomeous snake from the coral reefs of northen Australia. It has a sturdy body and is purplish brown above with a paler brown on the underside.

Dot and Dash Goatfish ( Parupeneus Barberinus ) The Dot and Dash Goatfush can be recongnised by a large black spot on the caudal peduncle. The Goatfish inhabits lagoons, seaward reefs and is most commonly seen over large sandy rubbly areas.

Mantis Shrimp ( Odontodactylus Scyallarus ) the Mantis Shrimp appear in a variety of colours from shades of browns to bright neon colours, They have very small but very strong claws. Mantis Shrimp mostly live in excaulated burrows. They spend most of their time burrowing in coral and or rock crevices.

Fairy Basslet ( Gramma Loreto ) The Fairy Basslet is a small fish with a elongated body and long, elegant pelvic fins. This fish has a bright blue to purple head and a bright yellow rear. They have a dark line running diagonally through the eye and a black spot at the leading edge of the dorsal fin.

White Tip Reef Shark ( Triandon Obesus ) The White Tip Reef Shark sre a slender species with a short, blunt snout. They are brown-gray on their dorsal ( top ) sides, white on their ventral ( lower ) sides. They have scattered dark grey spots along the sides of their bodies. The tips of their first dorsal fin and upper caudal ( tail ) fin lobe are brilliant white.


Acropora Nasuta - Acropora are cream or pale brown with blue branch tips ( They photograph pink ) , cream with brown corallites or greenish brown with purple or blue corallites.

Red Coralline Algae ( calliarthron sp ) Red Coralline Algae is a species of microscopic Algae that covers the surface of large fields of dead coral, producing a layer of sand stone that is responsible for the preservation and further growth of coral reefs.

Crown Of Thorns Starfish ( Acanthaster Planci ) Growing up to 80 centimetres in diameter and cover in numerous sharp, 40-50mm spines, this large starfish makes a formidable sight when encountered under water. Most sea stars have five arms but the Crown Of Thorns has up to 21. The local Crown Of Thorns starfish is a dull greyish green with pale tinges of red.

Turbinaria coral ( Tubinaria Bifrons ) Turbinaria coral colonies are composed of numerous small polyps, which are soft bodied animals. Each polyp bears numerous tentacles that direct food into a central mouth.

Platygyra hard coral ( platygyra lamellina ) Platygyra hard coral is a dome shaped or plate like structure up to a metre or more in diameter colonies of this plant forn maze like patterns of thick brown ridges.

Food Chains/Food Webs

Human interactions

Due to pollution, oil spills, tourist impact and overfishing our Great Barrier Reef is suffering.

The Great Barrier Reef offers the Australian coastline exstensive protection from the impact of storms and erosion form waves. It acts as a buffer while also providing the Queensland coast with oportunities for the tourism, scientific research and a booming seafood trade.

Introduced Species

Crown Of Thorns Starfish ( Acanthaster Planci ) The Crown Of Thorns Starfish have caused widespread damage to many coral reefs wiping out any other coral that gets in its way.

Large Japanese Seabass ( Lateolabrax Japonicus ) The large japanese sea bass was introduced by ballast water.

algae ( Gymnoainium catenatun ) This algae was also introduced through ballast water.