Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Coral Garden on Pulau Jong

It's been almost a year since I last visited Pulau Jong, and so I was really looking forward to this wildfilms and sponge gang trip :)

One of the most amazing thing about Jong was perhaps the soft corals - there were just so many of them, not just in the number of colonies, but in the number of species too!

The whole lagoon in the middle of the intertidal zone was like a soft coral garden.

And among the soft corals, there were lots of hard corals too!

For one thing, the water in the lagoon was exceptionally clear, and thus we were able to get really nice and clear photos.

But corals were not the only wildlife that Jong can offer.

I've seen the above on several of our shores, but never knew whether it's a seaweed or a sponge. It was only recently that I heard from Chee Kong that this is probably a sponge.

There were also lots of anemones on Jong.

The above is probably a Condylactis sp.

I also found several bulb tentacle anemones, and one of them actually had tomato anemonefishes! But this time round, I couldn't spare the time to wait for for a good shot of the anemonefishes, unlike the time when we were at Hantu.

These days I seemed to have quite a bit of nemo luck though.

I have seen the ocellaris clownfish on all my last 5 southern island trips!

While the ocellaris clownfish was really pretty and cute, I also encountered another just as pretty fish, but not exactly that cute at all.

The blue-spotted fantail ray. Last year when I was at Jong, I saw a huge blue-spotted fantail ray at least 40-50cm wide. Was really hoping to see one again today, but while I didn't managed to find it, Helen spotted one!

There were lots of crabs on Jong too. The above is the poisonous brown egg crab. Eat it, and you may have to say an early good-bye to your family and friends.

And let's not forget the slugs! The marginated glossodoris nudibranchs were every where, and I lost count of how many I saw.

There were several black phyllid nudibranchs (below left) and lots of pustulose phyllid nudibranchs (below right) as well.

I also saw a few sea cucumbers - black sea cucumber (below left) and the stonefish sea cucumber (below right).

Sea cucumbers are related to sea stars, and during my trip here last year, I remember seeing a cushion star.

I was searching high and low for it, and finally managed to find one when we were about to pack up and go.

And here's my find for the day.

Just imagine the shell above in the coral rubble - it was really a master of camouflage.

Turning it over, I saw that it has 2 little eyes and a long trapdoor (aka operculum).

It is a conch! But I've never seen such a conch before! Saw in the Wildfilms blog that eventually, Ria managed to check with Dr Tan Koh Siang who was with us, and he said this was actually a juvenile spider conch!

Here's an adult spider conch we found today. Seems like they only grow the spines when they are older.

Soon, the tide was rising , and we had to leave. Hopefully I'll have the opportunity to come back here again!

1 comment:


Oh....then the one that I have seen on Big Sisters last Sat must be a "teenager" Spider Conch. Cos it's shell is slightly thicker and bigger then the juvenile one here but does not have the spines yet.