Lying within sight of each other Dallas and Ardasier Reefs lie 26km north and north-northeast of Terumbu Layang Layang respectively. Ardasier Reef is 9km east of Dallas Reef, with the massive Ardasier Bank extending 69km to the east-northeast.

Some 7km long and 2km wide, when Dallas Reef dries out it has a completely enclosed shallow lagoon 15m deep, stretching east to west. It looks larger than triangular shaped Ardasier Reef. This is deceptive as Ardasier Reef has a huge area of coral hidden underwater known as the Ardasier Bank.

Dallas is remarkable for an unbelievable abundance of Spiny Lobsters. During the day, every nook and cranny contains one or more lobsters up to 50cm in length. At night all sizes congregate outside together, squabbling noisily as they fight for space.

Ardasier Reef is steep-to, except on its eastern side where it adjoins the Ardasier Bank, its huge areas of sandy patches have an abundance of shy Guitar Sharks, Eagle Rays, Giant Reef Rays and other intriguing bottom dwelling creatures that bury themselves in the sand.

Both reefs have large sandy patches but again safe anchorage is difficult. Around each reef small groups of hammerhead sharks and large shoals of Humphead Parrotfish were encountered. Larger gullies and small caves were full of groups of Long-jawed Squirrelfish and Red Soldierfish. Normally these squirrelfish are found hanging solitarily and Red Soldierfish. Normally these squirrelfish are found hanging solitarily under table corals so it is unusual to find them in groups. The largest of the squirrelfish, Long-jawed Squirrelfish have a very large opercular spine, which is believed to be poisonous; they feed at night on crabs and shellfish.

Both reefs are notable for an amazing abundance of colourful soft tree corals, all shapes, sizes and colours. The larger ones, with extremely thick limbs tend to be isolated while the smaller ones, mostly light blue to magenta in colour, grow prolifically as hanging gardens on steep walls, especially on the south wall of Dallas Reef. The west side of Ardasier Reef has hectares of sand sloping gently out into the blue with predominantly larger burgundy coloured ones on individual stony substrates. At slack water, soft tree corals hang limp and insignificant, but when currents are running they swell up to feed in a blaze of colour.



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