10 July 2009

Nem check at Sentosa

Another predawn start, this time on the sandy rubbly shores of Sentosa's last bits of natural shores.
Frilly sea anemones (Phymanthus sp.) are particularly common on these shores. They come in a wide variety of colours and patterns.

James also spots this pretty Wriggly star anemone (it's identity has yet to be determined) which is very nervous and disappears at the slightest sign of disturbance.
James and I trek over the seagrassy area where the big Giant carpet anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea) lives with its little False clown anemonefishes (Amphiprion ocellaris). It's nice to see that the anemone is still there. With lots of little anemonefishes too!
There was even a tiny little one with only one white stripe!
But I didn't see signs of the big Mama fish that I saw on my previous visit to this shore. A little further along, I saw another Giant carpet anemone in a rocky area. Alas, I didn't see any anemonefishes in this one.
On the sandy areas, Ivan and I also see several Peachia anemones (Peachia sp.). And James saw a Haddon's carpet anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni).

Some animals that are easily mistaken for sea anemones include the very pretty little colonial anemones or zoanthids. These belong to Order Zoanthidea and are not true sea anemones (Order Actiniaria).
They come in a wide variety of colours and patterns, but are all probably button zoanthids (Zoanthus sp.).
Also found in clusters of several individuals are corallimorphs (Order Corallimorphoria).
The seagrass area was looking really beat up. Although small clumps of broad Needle seagrasses (Halodule sp.) were still there. And Spoon seagrasses (Halophila ovalis) were still abundant.
And James encounters a Garlic bread sea cucumber (Holothuria scabra) there! This is my first time seeing this sea cucumber on Sentosa. In some sandier stretches near the rocky area, I still see lots of Cake sand dollars (Arachnoides placenta).
The rubbly area was still somewhat alive. With sponges and this large Spotted black flatworm (Acanthozoon sp.).
And there were also hard corals here and there. With some relatively large colonies seen. Including pretty and colourful favid corals (Family Faviidae).
One colony of Sandpaper coral (Psammocora sp.)
Several pore corals (Porites sp.) in shades of brown and green.
And a large area covered with some nice branching Montipora corals (Montipora sp.) just outside the Underwater World. This shore lies just opposite Marina at Keppel Bay and near Labrador and Berlayar Creek.
Here's a closer look at the branching Montipora corals. There were crabs and other little animals living among the branches of thes corals, which form a kind of underwater forest.
And also some plate corals such as this Disk coral (Turbinaria sp.).
There was no extensive bleaching seen.

James saw lots of other marinelife too!

We had a slow stroll around to the beacon and back along the shore next to Rasa Sentosa where TeamSeagrass and the Naked Hermit Crabs conduct their activities.

It was a lovely clear sunny morning, so I took lots of landscape photos of this rather endangered shore. Here's more about the big picture including impacts on these shores.

Other posts about this trip
Sentosa - Reefs and soft sand by James on his Singapore Nature blog.

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