Friday, February 04, 2011

Caesalpinia bonduc at Punggol

I had visited Punggol Beach a few times, but had never blogged about it as the intertidal life there somehow did not appeal to me much. Finding this particular plant, however, changed my mind this time round.

Caesalpinia bonduc
After exploring the marine life, I decided to check out the plants that had reestablished themselves on this reclaimed shore. And to my surprise, I spotted this Caesalpinia bonduc! This species is one of the rarest back mangrove plants in Singapore, though I understand it's rather common in the region.

Not sure if NParks or any of our botanists already know about this one at Punggol, or whether they had found other individuals in Singapore. But as far as I know, previously there's only one male plant recorded at Lazarus Island, and a female plant at Semakau. The one that I just spotted was not flowering or fruiting, so I don't really know if it's male, female or even bisexual.

Caesalpinia bonduc
Here's a look at the fruits of the Caesalpinia bonduc on Pulau Semakau.

Singapore has 2 native mangrove Caesalpinia species, the other one being the more common Caesalpinia crista, which can also be found at Punggol.

And here are some of the other interesting stuff I spotted at Punggol Beach:

Asterina coronata
Rock Star (Asterina coronata) - somehow they were a lot less abundant compared to the last time I was here. Only found 3 of them.

Dendrodoris fumata
A really tiny (less than 1cm long) Dendrodoris fumata, a nudibranch which feed on sponges.

Tube Snail (Vermetus sp.)
There were lots of Tube Snails (Vermetus sp.) stuck to the rocks.

Porcelain Crab
And of course, since there was a rocky shore, there were lots of Porcelain Crabs hiding around too.

Hoof-shield Limpet (Scutus sp.)
A few Hoof-shield Limpets (Scutus sp.) were spotted under the rocks.

sea anemones
In the tidal pools, lots of little sea anemones can be seen.

iridescent brittle worm
As it got darker, iridescent brittle worms started emerging.

Snapping Shrimps (Alpheus sp.)
And Snapping Shrimps (Alpheus sp.) too.

Green Mussels (Perna viridis)
Green Mussels (Perna viridis) were really abundant here.

Tide was not really low enough for me to see much stuff today, but guess I will be back here again, just to check on the Caesalpinia bonduc! :)


Ben and Carrie Tracks said...

Glad you changed your mind and blogged about the intertidal life -- wonderfully detailed pictures :) We're you're newest followers and as wildlife biologists, this blog is right up our alley - really looking forward to getting a glimpse into your marine activities!

-Carrie and Ben

Pat said...

Good find. Perhaps Caesalpinia bonduc's showy yellow inflorescences & adaptation to sandy beach fringes might help convince the relevant parties to step up efforts to conserve this critically-endangered native species. Despite its prickly stems & seedpods, it can be ecologically & horticulturally useful at certain parts of coastal nature areas that need a scrambing "barrier".

Besides, it's one of those "fun" plants -- its hard grey seeds can be used in the traditional Malay seed game of Congkak; & when rubbed quickly, the friction-heated seeds also serve as a "scorch-me" alternative to rubber seeds.

Ron Yeo said...

Thanks all for visiting my blog and the information provided! :)

Anonymous said...

That's a good find! There are 4 Caesalpinias that are native - C. crista, C. bonduc, C. sumatrana and C. tortuosa. You've added one more locality to this locally very endangered species - good one!
Adrian Loo

Ron Yeo said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, Adrian. I am aware that there are 4 native species in Singapore. As per mentioned in my blog, I was refering to 2 native mangrove species, or perhaps more precisely, mangrove associates :)