Monday, July 27, 2009

Exploring an Unexplored Part of Semakau

Last Saturday after the Project Semakau survey, a group of us stayed back for BBQ that night and also to check out the fireflies. The next morning, we decided to explore a part of Semakau's shore that we had never explored before. As it was not too faraway from the main NEA office, we decided to walk there instead of troubling the NEA staff to drive us there.

Cryptic Rock Star (Cryptasterina sp.)
We soon reached the area we wanted to explore. The moment we climbed down the sea wall, we saw a Cryptic Rock Star (Cryptasterina sp.). And I told the group, this was probably a good sign, and certainly, it was!

Upside-down Jellyfish (Cassiopea sp.)
Just a short distance away, I spotted an Upside-down Jellyfish (Cassiopea sp.).

Hell's Fire Sea Anemone (Actinodendron sp.)
And not too faraway, a Hell's Fire Sea Anemone (Actinodendron sp.).

Squid Eggs
As I was looking at some squid egg capsules, I heard some others shouting to me a distance away.

Stonefish (Synanceja horrida)
They have found a Stonefish (Synanceja horrida)! This was only the second time that we found this highly venomous fish on Semakau.

Red Swimming Crab (Thalamita spinimana)
After taking a few photos, we carried on to explore the shore. There were lots of very aggressive Red Swimming Crabs (Thalamita spinimana).

Banded File Snake (Acrochordus granulatus)
And just then, someone shouted again. It was a Banded File Snake (Acrochordus granulatus)!

Blue Dragon (Pteraeolidia ianthina)
Nearby, we also found a Blue Dragon (Pteraeolidia ianthina).

Bleached Anemone Coral (Goniopora sp.)
While walking around on my own, I found this little colony of bleached Anemone Coral (Goniopora sp.). Not sure what had caused this to happen...

Black Phyllid Nudibranch (Phyllidiella nigra)
Not too faraway, I found another nudibranch, a Pustulose Phyllid Nudibranch (Phyllidiella pustulosa).

Hammer Oyster (Family Malleidae)
And again, one of the volunteers shouted to me, saying that they have found a Hammer Oyster (Family Malleidae).

There were lots of octopuses on this shore too.

Stonefish Sea Cucumber (Actinopyga lecanora)
I decided to move further towards the reef edge, and along the way, I found this Stonefish Sea Cucumber (Actinopyga lecanora).

Tigertail Seahorse (Hippocampus comes)
And just nearby was this Tigertail Seahorse (Hippocampus comes).

Reef Scene
When I reached the reef edge, I was amazed by its beauty! There were so many different types of corals!

Merulina sp. with Fan Worms
Here's another view underwater - it looks so pretty with the fan worms on the bluish green coral, probably a Merulina coral.

Coral Reef
Can you see the sea urchins at the back?

Just then, another volunteer called out to me - she has found a Chiton. It was only about 0.5cm long, certainly much smaller than the one I saw at Raffles Lighthouse recently, but still a nice find :)

Anchor Coral (Euphyllia ancora)
I headed back to the reef edge, and more pretty corals greeted me, such as this Anchor Coral (Euphyllia ancora).

Burrowing Giant Clam (Tridacna crocea)
During the trip, we found several Burrowing Giant Clams (Tridacna crocea), but most of them were out of water. Finally near the reef edge, I found this one submerged with its pretty mantle extended.

Physogyra Coral
And I was pleasantly surprised to find this Physogyra Coral (Physogyra sp.) - my first time seeing this in Singapore!

Magnificent Anemones (Heteractis magnifica)
And another scene that surprised me were the many Magnificent Anemones (Heteractis magnifica). Usually in Singapore, I only see a few of them together, but here, there were easily more than 15 of them in an area less than 10 square metres! So far I have only seen such a scene while diving overseas!

Bulb Tentacle Anemone (Entamacea quadricolor)
There were many Bulb Tentacle Anemones (Entamacea quadricolor) too, and while I saw a few Tomato Clownfish, I did not managed to get any photos of them.

Black Margined Glossodoris Nudibranch (Glossodoris atromarginata)
As I moved along the reef edge, I came across a few of this Black Margined Glossodoris Nudibranch (Glossodoris atromarginata).

Soft Corals
Along the reef edge, there was a lovely garden of soft corals too.

Black Long-spined Sea Urchin (Diadema setosum)
Tide was soon rising, and on my way back to the sea wall, we came across this Black Long-spined Sea Urchin (Diadema setosum).

Spiral Melongena (Pugilina cochlidium)
And just before I climbed up the sea wall, I saw this Spiral Melongena (Pugilina cochlidium).

I was really glad that we decided to visit this part of the shore. In fact, it was probably the nicest shore we have visited on Semakau so far! Will certainly come back here again :)

1 comment:

koksheng said...

I agree that the reef here looks fantastic with many special finds! Semakau just never gets boring.