Monday, February 23, 2009

My first Hantu Dive

Finally, I got to dive in local waters! Followed the Hantu Blog's monthly dive last Sunday (22 Feb 2009).

Visibility was quite bad, but the diversity of marine life we was was still quite amazing! During my second dive, at one point I actually lost sight of CH, who's my buddy for the trip, when she was like just a body length away. Haha. Luckily after swimming forward a little bit, she came back into sight again :P

Anyway, here's just a quick listing of some of the things we saw:

There were lots of sponges, including many of these huge barrel sponges (Xestospongia sp.). This huge sponge was often mistaken as the Neptune's cup sponge (Poterion patera) which was described from Singapore in 1822, almost 200 years ago. The real Neptune's cup sponge was once believed to be extinct until recently, when it was rediscovered in Australian waters.

Due to the low light-penetration, there were lots of cave corals (Tubastrea spp.) in various colours.

There were lots of sea fans too!

Despite the low light condition, there were several colonies of hard corals, and I especially like this little colony of anemone coral (Goniopora sp.).

Other hard corals encountered include this Diploastrea sp.

And this Pachyseris sp.

Saw quite a few flatworms, but only managed to get a decent shot of this one, probably a Pseudobiceros sp.

Except for the numerous feather stars, I didn't spot any other echinoderms.

But there were lots and lots of slugs! The blue dragon nudibranch (Pteraeolidia ianthina) was the common, and I lost count of the number I saw.

There were several Ceratosoma gracillimum. Before this, I have only seen it once at the intertidal area of St John's Island.

This is probably a Phyllidiella pustulosa.

The pretty Glossodoris atromarginata, a rather common but photogenic species.

My first time seeing a Chromodoris fidelis in local waters!

A few Gymnodoris rubropapulosa were also spotted, looking fat and cute. Wonder what slug did it just eaten...

Looking rather similar to the former, this is probably a Gymnodoris alba instead.

A tiny Dermatobranchus sp.

Thuridilla gracilis - this is not a nudibranch, but a sap-sucking slug.

We also saw this huge prawn which wasn't camera shy at all!

All kinds of tunicates can be found growing on the soft substrate.

And we saw quite a few tigertail seahorses (Hippocampus comes), both male and females! The above was a pregnant male.

On the whole it was a great trip. I must remember to use flash when I go diving next time though - noticed that most of my photos turned out very blue or green... :P

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Got see ghost?