Saturday, July 16, 2011

Semakau Walk on 16 July 2011

It was nice to be back again for a guided walk at Semakau! The tide was really early for this trip, and hence instead of starting the guided walk from the mangrove, we did it in the reversed manner - starting with the coral reef at the reef edge and ended at the forest edge.

And so, the first organism that I shared with the participants (from HCI) was this:

This is the fluted giant clam (Tridacna squamosa) near the reef edge. On most trips, this clam would be submerged underwater, but as the tide was so low this time round, it was fully exposed.

We only saw one species of nudibranch, which was this funeral nudibranch (Jorunna funebris). There were three of them at different locations.

There was also a tigertail seahorse (Hippocampus comes). It was a pregnant male. We wondered where was the female though. Interestingly, it is the male seahorse that carries the eggs until they are hatched. The female seahorse will deposit the eggs into a pouch on the male's belly via an ovipositor.

We found this eel-like fish, but had no idea what exactly it was.

These two spider conches (Lambis lambis) were found trapped in a drift net.

So was this mosaic crab (Lophozozymus pictor), which was the most poisonous crab in Singapore.

A few years ago, a cushion star (Culcita novaeguineae) was an uncommon sight during an intertidal walk on Semakau, but since the launch of Project Semakau when we started sighting juveniles, they were now a common sight during our walks.

As usual the knobbly sea stars (Protoreaster nodosus) were the highlight of the trip! Most of our participants did not expect to see this big and pretty sea star in Singapore at all!

Here's the traditional group shot with the stars! For the HCI students, just click on this image to get the hi-res version!

A slightly more "crazy" shot, which really wasn't all that crazy. Haha...

It's an early morning walk, which means a good chance of seeing octopuses!

As usual, there were lots of hairy crabs (Pilumnus vespertilio), but as they were so well-camouflaged, we probably missed most of them :P

I saw a trail on the sand, and managed to dig out a moon snail (Polinices mammilla). This snail preys on other small snails and clams.

We also saw several species of sea cucumber, including the stonefish sea cucumber (Actinopyga lecanora).

Here's a shot of the group on the way back, crossing the seagrass meadow.

Once again, another slightly crazier shot.

We took time to take a look at the many sponges at the edge of the seagrass meadow, before we finally head back to dry land.

Lucky that although it rained earlier, we still managed to see so many interesting things! :)


Ivan said...

The spots on that eel-like fish make me think that it could be a carpet eel blenny. But I'm puzzled as to why the rest of the body is black. What happened to the rest of the body?

tHE tiDE cHAsER said...

yah, was thinking it could be a carpet eel blenny oso. but was super confused by the black body. dunno what had happened to it.

Anonymous said...

it was a really insightful and fun walk that day =D thank you!