Friday, December 12, 2008

Exploring Semakau on 12 Dec 2008

We were off to Semakau again today to do a field training for some Project Semakau volunteers. Again, it was a great trip, and here are some of the finds of the day :)

Sea cucumber (Stichopus vastus)
This sea cucumber must be the top find of the day. Can't remember whether it was spotted by JH or JL. This should be Stichopus vastus, which so far had been spotted by our local divers at our coral reefs, but this was the first time we saw it at the intertidal area of Semakau! While I have seen this many times in Malaysia, this was my first time seeing it in Singapore too!

Stonefish (Synanceja horrida)
And the No. 2 on the list must be this - a stonefish (Synanceja horrida)! While we knew that it has been recorded at Semakau before, we have never lucky enough to spot one (nor unlucky enough to step on one, for that matter). And now, it was as if Mr Stonefish wanted to make sure that it got recorded officially in our Project Semakau survey, and decided to make its appearance! In fact, ever since we launched the project last month, we had been getting various new records of animals that we had never seen at Semakau. They were just appearing like magic! :P

Starfish, Knobbly sea star (Protoreaster nodosus)
Several knobbly sea stars (Protoreaster nodosus) were also spotted.

Starfish, Knobbly sea stars (Protoreaster nodosus)
I saw a total of 5 of them, including the earlier one on top. And we didn't even explore much of the seagrass area! Can't imagine how many of them could be hiding among the long seagrasses!

Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides)
The tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides) were also flowering. The little white particles that look like styrofoam bits are the male flowers, while the bigger flower with the 3 petals is the female flower.

Funeral nudibranch (Jorunna funebris)
We also saw several nudibranchs, including this funeral nudibranch (Jorunna funebris).

Nudibranch (Glossodoris atromarginata)
The marginated nudibranch (Glossodoris atromarginata) appeared to be in season, and we saw many of them.

Nudibranch (Phyllidiella pustulosa)
Several cute little pustulosed phyllid nudibranch (Phyllidiella pustulosa) were also creeping among the seaweeds.

Flatworm (Acanthozoon sp.)
As usual, there were plenty of flatworms (Acanthozoon sp.). And trust me, they were really, really flat.

Tigertail seahorse (Hippocampus comes)
SY's gang also found this tigertail seahorse (Hippocampus comes). There were probably many of them at the Semakau intertidal area, but they can be really well-camouflaged, especially when they are hiding among the brown seaweeds.

Red maiden fan sponge (Oceanapia sagittaria)
The red maiden fan sponge (Oceanapia sagittaria) looked pretty no matter how many times I had seen it, even when I was looking at it in murky water.

Sea anemone
This is one sea anemone which we often see, but still doesn't know the ID.

Stonefish sea cucumber (Actinopyga lecanora)
I found this little stonefish sea cucumber (Actinopyga lecanora) among the seagrass. It was hardly longer than the width of my palm. It was really interesting to think about it, when we had seen the stonefish sea cucumber so many times, but only finally saw the real Mr Stonefish (which is really a fish) today (see all the way on top).

Sandfish (Holothuria scabra)
Several other types of sea cucumbers, including this sandfish (Holothuria scabra), were also spotted.

Beach tacca (Tacca leontopetaloides)
Last but not least, I managed to run over to the far end near the mangrove to take a photo of this spectacular beach tacca (Tacca leontopetaloides). And seeing this locally rare plant was certainly a great way to end the day :)

1 comment:

Kiri Keyboard said...

I want more tidepool exploring!