Sunday, December 23, 2007

Chek Jawa with the Semakau Guides

Wasn't planning to blog about this trip actually as several others in the gang had already blogged. However, after going through my photos, realised that I had captured a few things that the others didn't, so decided to just give a quick account here :)

As we walk go onto the mangrove boardwalk, we saw a flowering rattan vine near the Jejawi tower. Rattan is actually a palm. So mind you, not all palms are like your coconut palm that grow tall and straight.

And on a nearby plant, we saw a pretty little jumping spider. And as per previous experiences, it jumped onto my camera while I was trying to get a nice macro shot of it.

Once again, we saw the fiddler crab which we have managed to get the ID. Male fiddler crabs have an enlarged claw that they used to attract females or to intimidate other males.

Wonder if this is the female fiddler crab?

There were lots of mangrove flatworms in the pools of brackish water in the mangroves too.

This is probably a juvenile cake sea star. Had quite a bit of discussion over what it should be actually, and in an earlier posting I had suggested that a similar-looking one could be a Gymnanthenea laevis as this sea star can usually be identified by spine-like tubercles on the central radial plates, and like the cake sea star, its bottom surface is covered with bivalved pedicellariae. However, recently I saw some spine-like tubercles on an adult cake sea star in a photo too. Since the Gymnanthenea laevis supposedly has thinner arms, I think this is most probably a juvenile cake sea star. Pai seh, should have taken a super close-up to check on some other distinguishing features on its top surface.

And here's a lovely purple carpet anemone.

Saw an Armina babai yesterday as well, but when I went home to check my photos, realised that I only took photos of its underside. Fortunately, we saw a few again today, and so managed to grab a proper photo. Anyway, this is a nudibranch that feeds on sea pen.

In the coral rubble, I saw lots of egg ribbons. Do they slug eggs? Sure looks like it.

There were lots of colourful sponges in the coral rubble too!

One animal that really intrigues me is this snail here. Found several of them in a tidal pool, but it was only when I reached home to check out the photos on my laptop, then I realised that they seemed to have some tentacle-like things at their front end. So are they snails or could they be something else? They definitely have a foot though, and wasn't swimming but sliding over the sand. Any experts out there can help answer my question?

Anyway, it was yet another great trip with fellow guides. Thanks to LK for organising this!

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