Saturday, June 27, 2009

Back to Beting Bronok

The original plan was to visit Raffles Lighthouse, but due to some unforeseen circumstances, we had to change the location to Beting Bronok instead. To be frank, I wasn't really disappointed with the last minute change, but was in fact rather happy as I had not visited Beting Bronok for the past 3 years.

Brown-spotted moray (Gymnothorax reevesii)
We found at least 6 brown-spotted morays (Gymnothorax reevesii), most of them stranded in shallow tidal pools, and two of them were even stranded on dry land due to the low spring tide.

Pencil sea urchin (Prionocidaris sp.)
Pencil sea urchins (Prionocidaris sp.) were quite abundant here.

Knobbly Sea Star (Protorester nodosus)
There is also a good population of knobbly Sea Stars (Protorester nodosus). I saw at least 20 of them.

Cake sea star (Anthenea aspera)
The most delightful star find must be this red cake sea star (Anthenea aspera). While we found several cake sea stars here, this was the prettiest!

Gymnanthenea laevis
We also found a few Gymnanthenea laevis sea stars.

Biscuit sea star (Goniodiscaster scaber)
Like most of our northern shores, the biscuit sea star (Goniodiscaster scaber) can be found in large numbers.

Sand star (Astropecten sp.)
At the sandy areas, many sand stars (Astropecten sp.) were spotted.

Sea cucumber
We have seen this sea cucumber many times on our northern shores, but still has not confirm its ID.

Sandfish sea cucumber (Holothuria scabra)
The sandfish sea cucumber (Holothuria scabra) is another sea cucumber commonly found here. It is also the sea cucumber that you can often find in Chinese restaurants. However, it is actually toxic, and need to be properly processed before they can be consumed.

Haeckeli sea anemone (Actinostephanus haeckeli)
I spotted a Haeckeli sea anemone (Actinostephanus haeckeli). A member of the hell's fire anemone family (Actinodendronidae), this anemone can give very painful stings. I have seen this previously at Changi beach and Semakau, though the one at Changi was green in colour.

Soft coral
One really nice thing about Beting Bronok is that there are lots of pretty soft corals.

Sea pen
The sandy substrate with lots of seagrass and seaweed also means there are lots of sea pens too.

Sea pen
Here's another sea pen. Sea pens are colonial animals with a primary polyp (the middle stalk) and secondary polyps (the feathery bits by the sides of the primary polyp).

Flatworm (Acanthozoon sp.)
Huge flatworms (Acanthozoon sp.) were easily found here, many of which were about the length of my palm, and several were stranded on dry land due to the low tide.

Also stranded on dry land were many octopuses.

Onyx cowrie (Cypraea onyx)
The onyx cowrie (Cypraea onyx) is very common on this shore too. The shell of this snail is very smooth and pretty, and it is usually covered by the mantle, protecting it from being scratched. The mantle also repairs and helps build the shell.

Frog shell (Bufonaria rana)
Siyang spotted this frog shell (Bufonaria rana).

Melon shell (Melo melo)
It took me a while to find this huge melon shell (Melo melo). This shell is often collect for food by fishermen, and the empty shell used to bale water. It is able to produce non-nacreous pearls valued by some collectors.

Blue dragon (Pteraeolidia ianthina)
Several nudibranchs can be found here, including the blue dragon (Pteraeolidia ianthina).

Cuthona sibogae
Agnes found this pretty Cuthona sibogae nudibranch.

Thordisa villosa
A nudibranch which I have not seen for quite a while - Thordisa villosa.

Atagema spongiosa
This huge Atagema spongiosa was about more than 10cm long.

Polybranchia orientalis
The Polybranchia orientalis is a sap-sucking slug which can be really well-camouflaged if it's among seaweed or seagrass.

Bursatella leachii
The hairy sea hare (Bursatella leachii) seemed to be in season, and we saw a number of them.

Venus clam (Marcia sp.)
Noticed that I hardly post photos of clams, so I shall end this series of photos with a Venus clam (Marcia sp.).

All in all, it was great to be back on Beting Bronok!


Neil said...

great photos as ever. I finally managed to do some rockpooling when I went on holiday to an area with rocky shore last week :)

What camera setup do you photograph with? I found the photography very hard going with water reflection etc. Got any tips?

Ron Yeo said...

Hi Neil, great to hear from u again!

Most of the shots are taken at night, which will have little reflection problem.

When taking photos in the day, I sometimes bring along a black plastic sheet to place it above the tidal pool that I want to photograph to reduce reflection. Otherwise, it is a lot of Photoshop work.

I am using a simple point-and-shoot camera, so there's really not many settings I can play around with. Haha