Sunday, December 06, 2009

Last Project Semakau Survey of the Year 2009

It's the last survey of the year for Project Semakau. This time round, I was doing the coordination work which involves a lot of running around. Thus, as usual, I wasn't able to take many photos. Still, it was a really good trip with several interesting finds, and here are some of the things that I managed to steal time to take some photos...

Banded File Snake (Acrochordus granulatus
The Banded File Snake (Acrochordus granulatus) is a rather harmless non-venomous snake. It got its name from the rough skin it has, which allows it to hold tightly to small prey like a fish as it constricts the latter.

Estuarine Moray (Gymnothorax tile)
Not too far from where I found the file snake, I spotted this Estuarine Moray (Gymnothorax tile). This eel is often sold in the aquarium trade. It is mostly found in brackish water or coral reef near the shore.

Manrove Horseshoe Crabs (Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda)
A pair of Manrove Horseshoe Crabs (Carcinoscorpius rotundicauda) was found at the sandy area near the edge of the mangrove. The roe of this horseshoe crab is said to be very poisonous and can even caused death when consumed.

Knobbly Sea Stars (Protoreaster nodosus)
A group of Knobbly Sea Stars (Protoreaster nodosus) seemed to have moved further to the right side of the reef. Here's one of them.

Red Swimming Crab (Thalamita spinimana)
We saw so many Red Swimming Crab (Thalamita spinimana) that I totally lost count of them.

Stonefish Sea Cucumber (Actinopyga lecanora)
The Stonefish Sea Cucumbers (Actinopyga lecanora) were also out in full force! I saw at least 10 of them over a small stretch at the reef edge.

Stonefish Sea Cucumber (Actinopyga lecanora)
The Stonefish Sea Cucumbers come in a variety of patterns, and the patterns on this one is certainly very different from the previous one.

A night survey usually also means that we will see lots of octopuses!

Bigfin Reef Squids (Sepioteuthius sp.)
And squids too! These are Bigfin Reef Squids (Sepioteuthius sp.). We can usually see many of them on a night trip.

Bigfin Reef Squids (Sepioteuthius sp.)
These are the same pair of squids, and you can see that their patterns have changed!

Soon, the survey ended, and after packing and consolidating the data forms and equipment, we took the boat back to mainland. Along the way, we looked at some of the mollusc specimens collected.

Marginate Conch (Strombus marginatus)
This is the Marginate Conch (Strombus marginatus), which we had also found on Semakau previously. Though not as abundant as the Gong Gong (Strombus turturella) or Black-lipped conch (Strombus urceus), it is still relatively easy to find this conch on many of our shores.

This other one here, however, was declared by our mollusc expert to be a rare find. Can't quite remember exactly what he said, so guess I'll have to confirm with him again next week before I update this page again :P

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