Sunday, August 23, 2009

Project Semakau Survey in August 2009

It's a Project Semakau survey day again on Saturday, and I was once again running around doing the coordination work. As per usual, I only had a little bit of time to take photos of the things I saw along the way, and here are the few organisms that I managed to shoot.

Dog-faced Water Snake (Cerberus rynchops).
Just a short while after we stepped onto the shore, some of the volunteers spotted this Dog-faced Water Snake (Cerberus rynchops). For many of the volunteers, this was their first time seeing this snake commonly found in our mangroves!

Mini Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla tapetum)
I quickly assigned the volunteers to their zone, and at one of the zones, I found 2 of these small carpet anemones. Looking at the rows of short tentacles radiating from the central mouth, it looks like a Mini Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla tapetum).

Mangrove Horseshoe Crab (Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda)
I also found 2 Mangrove Horseshoe Crabs (Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda). These ancient animals exist for more than 400 million years on Earth already!

Sand-sifting Sea Star (Archaster typicus)
Sand-sifting Sea Stars (Archaster typicus) are very common on Semakau.

Oxpalate Nerites (Nerita albicilla)
At the rocky area, I found a number of Oxpalate Nerites (Nerita albicilla).

Burnt Murex (Chicoreus brunneus)
I also found this Burnt Murex (Chicoreus brunneus). This was the first time that I saw this at Semakau! Thanks SK for the ID.

Arabian Cowrie (Cypraea arabica)
The find of the day at the ricky area, however, must be the Arabian Cowrie (Cypraea arabica). The rocky area is really quite a small stretch, so I really did not expect to find this here. This is also the first time we saw this at Semakau.

Sea Cucumber
I also found this sea cucumber which we have not been able to identify so far. It was very sensitive to touch, and sprayed the white sticky threads when I touched it.

Swimming Anemone (Boloceroides mcmurrichi)
Swimming Anemones (Boloceroides mcmurrichi) appeared to be in season, and I saw quite a number of them.

Black Long-spined Sea Urchin (Diadema setosum)
Spotted this Black Long-spined Sea Urchin (Diadema setosum) when I was giving the ending GPS for one of the groups.

Sand dollar (Arachnoides placenta)
Sand dollars (Arachnoides placenta) were really abundant at the sandy shore towards the south.

Acanthozoon flatworm
This Acanthozoon flatworm (Acanthozoon sp.) is very common in Singapore and the region, but interestingly was not described by a scientist yet.

Long Tentacle Anemone (Macrodactyla doreensis)
This was also my first time seeing a Long Tentacle Anemone (Macrodactyla doreensis) at Semakau!

Ocellaris Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris)
JL's group found this Ocellaris Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) among the tentacles of a Giant Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea).

Hairy Hermit Crab (Dardanus lagopodes)
I found a dead shell while walking towards one of the groups, and found a Hairy Hermit Crab (Dardanus lagopodes) inside.

Knobbly Sea Star (Protoreaster nodosus)
There were lots of Knobbly Sea Stars (Protoreaster nodosus) among the seagrass and also at the coral rubble area. Here's one of them :)

Sentinel Crab (Macrophthalmus sp.)
And the last photo I took for the day was this Sentinel Crab (Macrophthalmus sp.). It was very cooperative, and hardly moved when I took photos of it!

We were really lucky that despite the dark clouds in the early morning, the sky cleared when we were doing the survey. This would be out last morning survey of the year. Looking forward to the evening surveys next month. At least we don't have to wake up so early! :P

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