Friday, July 04, 2008

Knobbly at Changi

I found a juvenile knobbly sea star (Protoreaster nodosus) again at Changi!

starfish, Protoreaster nodosus
The knobbly sea star is probably the biggest sea star in Singapore in terms of body width, and can grow up to more than 30cm wide. This one is still a juvenile though, probably about 7 or 8 cm wide.

biscuit sea star, Goniodiscaster scaber
We also found several biscuit sea star (Goniodiscaster scaber).

sand star, Astropecten
We only found a few sand stars (Astropecten sp.) though. They used to be rather common at Changi.

sandstar, Astropecten
Here's another one, which we're still not sure if it's of a different species due to the different colouration.

brittle star, Class Ophiuroidea
Several brittle stars (Class Ophiuroidea) were also spotted. Unlike sea stars, they move by swinging their arms. Sea stars move with little tube feet under their arms.

sea urchin, Salmacis sp
The salmacis sea urchins (Salmacis sp.) seemed to be in season, and we probably saw hundreds of them.

sand dollars, Arachnoides placenta
And as usual, there're lots of sand dollars (Arachnoides placenta).

pink thorny sea cucumber, Colochirus quadrangularis
We spotted several types of sea cucumbers too, and here's one of them - the pink thorny sea cucumber (Colochirus quadrangularis).

Chiton, Class Polyplacophora
We also found a chiton (Class Polyplacophora). They are actually quite common here, but most of them are quite small, and thus it takes a bit of effort to find them.

Fan shell, Family Pinnidae
There were lots of fan shells (Family Pinnidae), and we found several of them with their shells open, revealing the insides. No idea why they're doing this though.

Noble volutes, Cymbiola nobilis
They were several huge noble volutes (Cymbiola nobilis) prowling around, probably searching for other sea snails or clams to eat.

moon snail, Family Naticidae
The moon snails (Family Naticidae) were out prowling too.

Moon crab, Ashtoret lunaris
So were the moon crab (Ashtoret lunaris).

Hermit crab
There're always lots of hermit crabs scampering around at Changi. Not sure of the ID though. This one has two sea anemones on its shell.

Flower crab, Portunus pelagicus
A pair of flower crabs (Portunus pelagicus) caught my attention while I was walking in a tidal pool. Seems like romance was in the air. The male crab (the more brightly coloured one) was probably guarding the female, waiting for it to moult so that they could mate.

Ghost crab, Ocypode ceratophthalma
I encountered several ghost crabs (Ocypode ceratophthalma) out of their burrows scavenging too.

Coastal horseshoe crab, Tachypleus gigas
You can find two species of horseshoe crabs in Singapore, and the above is a pair of coastal horseshoe crabs (Tachypleus gigas) we found. Horseshoe crabs already exist even before the dinosaurs time, and are thus often called living fossils.

prawn, shrimp
Among the seagrasses, there were lots of prawns too. Don't know the exact ID for this prawn though.

sea pen
These sea pens (Order Pennatulacea) are quite common at Changi, and we can usually find many of them burrowing halfway into the sand.

Kite butterflyfish, Parachaetodon ocellatus
Just before we left, I spotted this cute little kite butterflyfish (Parachaetodon ocellatus). I have seen them feeding on carpet anemones before. This lonely fish was trapped in a little tidal pool when I found it.

Well, on the whole it was certainly a good trip, though we didn't find as many types of sea stars as what some of the others on found on their recent trips :P

No comments: