Thursday, May 28, 2009

Pulau Sekudu on 27 May 2009

In this entry, I will talk about some of the other organisms we saw at Pulau Sekudu on 27 May 2009.

Hit by stingray
There were lots of stingrays in the seagrass lagoon, and LK found that out the scary way. After CH got stung by one just the day before, we were all rather shocked when we heard LK shouting that she had stepped onto a stingray. Fortunately, the venomous spine did not hit her, but her booties. Oi Yee, being very experienced with fishes, eventually managed to remove the poor stingray which was stuck to LK's booties.

Mangrove Whipray (Himantura walga)
And here's the Mangrove Whipray (Himantura walga) that caused the big commotion. Apart from Mangrove Whiprays, we also saw two other species of stingrays in the lagoon - the Blue-spotted Stingray (Dasyatis kuhlii) and the Blue-spotted Fantail Ray (Taeniura lymma). Lots of other fishes like butterflyfishes, gobies, filefishes etc were also spotted.

Horned Ghost Crab (Ocypode ceratophthalma)
The crabs seems to be doing well on Sekudu, and we saw many of them. The first crab we saw was this Horned Ghost Crab (Ocypode ceratophthalma).

Leaf Porter Crab (probably Neodorippe callida)
As I walked along the edge of the water, I saw several leaves floating on the water surface. Taking a closer look, I realised that they were Leaf Porter Crabs (probably Neodorippe callida). In the day, they will carry a dead leaf and hide underneath, but at night, they will swim by hold the leaf under it on the water surface to hide from predators in the water.

Thunder Crab (Myomenippe hardwickii)
I cam across several Thunder Crabs (Myomenippe hardwickii) . The one above is a female. Can you spot the eggs on its abdomen?

Spooner Crabs (probably Leptodius sp.)
I also came across this pair of Smooth Spooner Crabs (Etisus laevimanus).

Red Egg Crab (Atergatis integerrimus)
While the Red Egg Crab (Atergatis integerrimus) may looked cooked and ready to be eaten with its red exoskeleton, it is very much alive and not edible too, as it is poisonous!

Charybdis affinis
Several huge swimming crabs were also spotted. The above looks like a Charybdis affinis to me.

Moving on from the armoured ones to the more fragile ones, we saw quite a few flatworms too. Have seen the flatworm above many times, but this is the only time that I managed to take some decent photos.

Orange Flatworm (Phrikoceros baibaiye)
This Orange Flatworm (Phrikoceros baibaiye) was swimming upside-down, and somehow refused to turn over even when I gently tried to provide some assistance.

Leaf Slug (Elysia ornata)
This animal may look like a flatworm, but it is actually a Leaf Slug (Elysia ornata) which feeds on the sap of the algae.

This is yet another sap-sucker, but I do not know the exact species.

Blue Dragon (Pteraeolidia ianthina)
This very pretty blue slug is commonly called a Blue Dragon (Pteraeolidia ianthina). We saw several of them among the seaweed.

Atagema spongiosa
A pleasant surprise for me was to find this nudibranch - Atagema spongiosa - laying an egg ribbon.

Sea hare
Yet another type of slug we saw was this sea hare which we still couldn't identify.

Trumpet Shell (Cymatium cutaceum)
Another highlight of the day was seeing this Trumpet Shell (Cymatium cutaceum) laying eggs.

Watering Pot Shell (Brechites penis)
I found this dead Watering Pot Shell (Brechites penis) among the seagrass. This is my second time finding it this month, the other time at Chek Jawa. The one I found at Chek Jawa was much bigger though, between 13-15 cm long, if I remember correctly.

Watering Pot Shell (Brechites penis)
It is a bivalve, and here you can see the two valves fused to the side of its calcareous tube. This animals was thought to be extinct in Singapore. Wonder if the ones I have so far were brought here by sea water, or do they still exist in Singapore?

It was a day for little octopuses, and we certainly saw quite a few of them.

This one is an adult though.

Squid Eggs
We found the egg capsules of a squid near the place where I found the knobblies.

Haddon's Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni)
It seemed like the Haddon's Carpet Anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni) has recovered well from the flood 2 years ago. We saw lots of them in the seagrass lagoon.

Giant Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea)
We also saw 2 Giant Carpet Anemones (Stichodactyla gigantea). KS first brought me to one with a little anemonefish which he saw in a previous trip, and I later found one myself (see above photo).

Tube Anemones
The seagrass lagoon also has many Tube Anemones.

Porites coral
I was glad to find several colonies of hard corals too, including the rather big colony of Porites coral, and it has some pretty sponges growing on it. Also found quite a lot fo soft corals, but did not managed to take any good photos.

On the whole, it was great to be back at Sekudu, especially when it was such a great trip with lots of interest sightings, especially the echinoderms highlighted in my previous entry. I was really relieved to see the area recovering so well from the flood 2 years ago :)


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