Saturday, October 18, 2008

Another Starry Evening at Changi

It's been a while since I had a proper leisure trip to our shores, and since the tide was quite good, LK, ST and I decided to go to Changi Beach to take a look.

Changi is my favourite star-searching site, as we can always find so many species of sea stars there. And true enough, this trip is no exception.

Starfish, Biscuit sea star, Goniodiscaster scaber
One of the most sea stars must be the biscuit sea star (Goniodiscaster scaber). At the edge of the exposed shore, I could find one almost every few steps I take. It gets its common name from its neat star-shaped body and flat top surface, looking just like a star-shaped biscuit.

Starfish, Orange-tipped sea star, Gymnanthenea laevis
While we often call this the orange-tipped sea star (Gymnanthenea laevis), not all members of this species come with orange-tipped arms.

Starfish, Cake sea star, Anthenea aspera
Several cake sea stars (Anthenea aspera) were spotted, and some of the bigger were about the size of my palm. With some imagination, this sea star sure look like a little star-shaped cake :P

We found a very pretty orange sea star, but I didn't really examine it closely enough to decide what it was. It could be a juvenile cake sea star or orange-tipped sea star.

Starfish, Six-armed scaly sea star, Nepanthia belcheri
A six-armed scaly sea star (Nepanthia belcheri) was spotted stranded on some sea grass, and we put it back into water again.

Starfish, Scaly sea star, Nepanthia belcheri
I later found another scaly sea star with the usual five arms. It was very pretty though with the red patches.

Starfish, Sand star, Astropecten indicus
Moving on to another part of the shore, we found lots of sand stars (Astropecten indicus). There must be hundreds of them on this little exposed patch that we visited!

Starfish, Rock star, Asterina coronata
And among the rocks on yet another part of the shore, we found lots of rock stars (Asterina coronata).

Pink thorny sea cucumber, Colochirus quadrangularis
Apart from sea stars, there were plenty of pink thorny sea cucumbers (Colochirus quadrangularis). The one above was found just next to a biscuit sea star, which some how reminds me that I hardly visit my relatives these days. Sea stars and sea cucumbers are related in the sense they were both from the Phylum Echinodermata.

Black sea urchin, Temnopleurus sp.
And another of their relatives, the black sea urchin (probably Temnopleurus sp.), was also spotted, hiding among the seaweeds.

Peacock anemone
Apart from the echinoderms, we also saw quite a few peacock anemones (Family Cerianthidae).

Thunder crabs, Myomenippe hardwicki
And there were these 3 thunder crabs (Myomenippe hardwicki) having a little gathering. Have no idea why are they having such gatherings, as this is not the first time I saw 3 thunder crabs together, with a female crab upside down. Could they have been mating just before the tide goes down? What about the odd one out then?

Nudibranch, probably Hypselodoris infucata
Near the rocky area, a little beauty was spotted - a nudibranch, probably Hypselodoris infucata.

Unfortunately, this time round we didn't see any of the 3 luidia sea stars that had been found here, but guess I was already very satisfied with the other species that we managed to find :)

There will be several good evening tides this year, and well, I'll definitely be visiting this shore again very soon.

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