05 January 2009

Wildfacts updates: Goatfish, blue-eyed coral crab and more

Andy has fantastic video clips of our marine life on his sgbeachbum blog. I especially love this fabulous clip of a pair of anemone fishes frolicking in their anemone taken at Sisters Islands.
I finally got some time to embed his clips onto the appropriate wild fact sheets on wildsingapore, as he so kindly gave permission for me to do so. To see all the clips, it's easier to drop by Andy's blog.

I also finally got around to updating all the crab IDs that Crabhunter so kindly took the time to share on my flickr. From the comments, I've learnt that swimming crabs (Family Portunidate) are really tough to distinguish to species. Same goes for moon crabs (Family Matutidae).

But never mind! Even if we can't identify our marinelife precisely, we can still take photos of them, note down their behaviour and distribution and appreciate their beauty and amazing adaptations. I'm happy to have discussions about ID and to be proved wrong. That's how I learn!

Here's some of the new fact sheets I've just uploaded. As usual, any comments and corrections and additions are always most welcome!

What's a goatfish? Why such an odd name?

I don't really know but it could be something to do with the fact that these fishes have a pair of 'tentacles' (called barbels) under their chin. Which might remind some of goats, which have a beard under the chin.
Unidentified fish (Upeneus sp.?)
It's hard to see the barbels on the fishes we encounter on our shores as these are tucked away under the chin when not in use. The barbels are used to probe the sand and crevices for tasty titbits. These fishes come in a wide range of colours and patterns and I'm making a tentative id of it as the Freckled goatfish (Upeneus tragula).

I have often seen these hairy little crabs with blue eyes in branching hard corals. I thought they were just juvenile Hairy crabs (Family Pilumnidae) which are quite commonly seen on our reefs.
Tiny crab in acropora (Cymo andreossyi)?
But a closer look suggests these might be the threatened Hairy coral crab (Cymo andreossyi). It is listed as 'Vulnerable' in the latest Red List of our threatened animals. This crab is only found in Acropora and Pocillopora hard corals.

These little clams are also often seen in all kinds of branching hard corals.
Tiny clam in acropora
I'm not too sure what they are, but it is likely that they are some sort of scallop (Family Pectinidae) and possibly Pedum sp. I've just called them coral scallops.

If you have photos or video clips to share on the wild fact sheets, please do email me (hello@wildsingapore.com) with this information
(a) Your name
(b) URL of the location of your photo on your blog or flickr (please don't send me your photos)
(c) Location of your sighting
(d) Month and year of sighting
(e) Any observations of behaviour, etc.

Looking forward to having more of everyone's encounters on the wild fact sheets!

Earlier posts about previous updates on the wild fact sheets.

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