“Mpaddata” of Scylla
It’s one of the most famous reef of Scylla and is characterized by an extensive mountain range with the summit just 18 m deep and with vertical walls on one side (south-west), while the other side descends immediately to the depth (to the north and north-east). Behind these cliffs there’s plateau with pebbles, that extends to south-west from the depth of 30 m up to 40-50 m and then stops in the vicinity of another adjacent reef. Then the bottom begins to fall in outstanding depths. The reef is populated by “forests” of bi-colored gorgonians that crowd the rock silhouetted in the blue of the Strait of Messina.
A unique view assails the diver whatever is the side of the reef chosen for the dive: there’s a valley carpeted with gorgonians and coelenterates down to the blue, offering a unique spectacle in the Mediterranean Sea. The fish doesn’t fail even if, in particular as regards the grouper, we are faced with specimens very frightened and cunning. Some big red scorpion fish or some eels, by their nature, are more common. In Scylla, rarer is the meeting with the Astrospartus mediterraneus, a wonderful brittle star with branched arms, leading his life adhering to the structure of the gorgonians. On the bottom, in sandy clearings, we can also find big specimens of Cerianthus membranaceus. You can then observe small clearings where there are concentrations of Parazoanthus axinellae, a colonial anthozoan known as Daisy Sea because of the similarity of its polyps with these flowers.
Among the dense gorgonians, there are also branches of Gerardia savaglia, colonies of Parheritropodyum coralloides, beautiful Alcyonium acaule, colonies of hydroids and many other representatives of the coelenterates kingdom. Pelagic fishes, such as breams or solitary snappers, are occasional meetings.
|Place||The “Mpaddata” – Scylla|
|Dive type||By boat. Descend along the anchor line.|
|Depth (min/max)||18/60 m|
|Currents||There can be strong currents; recommended the presence of expert guides.|
|Dive Path||In circle around the reef|
|Biodiversity||High. Spectacular “forest” of yellow and red gorgonians|
|Peculiarities||Occasional presence of Astrospartus mediterraneus.
The visibility is generally very good.