Tuesday, September 02, 2008

Semakau Walk on 2 Sep 2008

Today, we had our very last Semakau morning walk for the year. Instead of guiding a group, I was one of the hunter-seekers this time round. As the tide was not really very low, I was a little skeptical about whether we will be able to find many interesting stuff. But guess I worried too much, because Semakau always has lots of interesting things to offer!

Semakau is one of the best place to spot sea cucumbers, and today, we were really lucky that we managed to find all of what I called the Big Five Sea Cucumbers.

Dragonfish sea cucumber, Stichopus horrens
Among the seagrasses, RH found a dragonfish sea cucumber (Stichopus horrens), and almost immediately, I found another one.

Synaptid sea cucumber
It didn't take us long to find a synaptid sea cucumber (Synaptidae) among the seagrasses too.

Stonefish sea cucumber, Actinopyga lecanora
RH soon found a stonefish sea cucumber (Actinopyga lecanora) in one of the tidal pools.

Sandfish sea cucumber, Holothuria scabra
And I found a sandfish sea cucumber (Holothuria scabra) at the coral rubble area.

Ocellated sea cucumber, Stichopus ocellatus
Halfway through the walk, RH finally found an ocellated sea cucumber (Stichopus ocellatus), thus completing our search for the Big Five Sea Cucumbers! :)

Apart from the Big Five Sea Cucumbers, I also have another list of Big Five Animals of Semakau, which includes sea cucumbers, sea stars, nudibranchs, flatworms, and octopuses. So, did we complete this second Big Five list?

Sand-sifting sea stars , Archaster typicus
Immediately after we crossed the seagrass meadow, we saw lots of sand-sifting sea stars (Archaster typicus) at the usual sandy patch.

Knobbly sea star, Protoreaster nodosus
And RH also managed to find the pinkish knobbly sea star (Protoreaster nodosus) near the reef crest.

Knobby starfish, Protoreaster nodosus
I found this other orange knobbly a while later.

Noble volute, Cymbiola nobili
As usual, there were several noble volutes (Cymbiola nobilis) laying eggs at the coral rubble area. LK found the first one, and we spotted several others thereafter.

Fluted giant clam, Tridacna squamosa
As tide was rising, I quickly went all the way out to mark the location of the fluted giant clam (Tridacna squamosa), and hurried the groups to visit it quickly before the water level got too high.

Today was a day for the octopuses too, and we spotted many of them.

Chromodoris lineolata Nudibranch
The Chromodoris lineolata nudibranch appeared to be in season, and I saw many of them in several of the tidal pools.

Funeral nudibranch, Jorunna funebris
RH found us a cute funeral nudibranch (Jorunna funebris).

Gymnodoris rubropapulosa nudibranch
I found this pretty Gymnodoris rubropapulosa nudibranch near the reef crest.

Acanthozoon flatworm
And there were lots of flatworms too! We found several of the Acanthozoon flatworms (see above), and later I also found a persian carpet flatworm (Pseudobiceros bedfordi).

So, YES! We managed to find all our Big Five Animals too!

Not not just that, we also saw lots of other interesting stuff like spider conch, ribbon worms, hard corals, soft corals, carpet anemones, scallops, moon snails... and the list goes on and on...

This was certainly an excellent way to end our series of morning walks! :)


Anonymous said...

great set of finds. Making me want to got rockpooling even more!

Ron Yeo said...