28 November 2009

Wildfacts updates: Sightings in November

This is the 'slow' season for intertidal visits as low spring tides are less frequent and not so low this time of the year. The monsoon season also tends to disrupt trips. This year, again, we had a string of non-compliant tides when tides didn't go as low as they should have.
Nevertheless, we still had spectacular sightings such as this delightful basket star (Family Euryalidae), found and so well photographed by James on a not so low tide trip to Pulau Hantu.

Other Pulau Hantu treasures include the tiny Gymnodoris nudibranchs (Gymnodoris sp.) on the seagrasses, as well as these really cute slugs that the team has been seeing ever since they were alerted to their existence by Chay Hoon. She suggests they could be Costasiella sp. Once again, great shots from James. We now have seen so many of this fan slugs that I've done up a new factsheet for them.
Another slug we saw plenty of at Pulau Semakau were these tiny transparent seahares (possibly Phyllaplysia sp.)! I've done a new fact sheet for them too.
From Kok Sheng, a photo of the Starry flatworm (Pseudobiceros stellae) also found on seagrasses there.
Other photos shared by James include this unknown anemone that has few transparent tentacles arranged like spokes on a bicycle, and our first sighting of an anemone on a snail at Pulau Hantu.
We saw a lot of these wriggly star anemones on the high shores. These are banded, unlike the ones we usually see on the reef flats. Are they something different? Wow, so much more to learn about our shores.At Pulau Semakau, James shared more first time sightings. The Hollow-cheeked stonefish (Synanceia horrida)! The first time we've seen a big one on this shore. Which goes to show that we should be really careful where we step.
From another trip to Pulau Semakau, James shared the brown flatworm (Pseudobiceros gratus), as well as the Very long ribbonworm (Baseodiscus delineatus).
While Andy took gorgeous videos of a Yellow-lipped sea krait at Pulau Semakau!

Yellow-Lipped Sea Krait @ Semakau 06Nov2009 from BeachBum on Vimeo.

Geraldine shared photos of our first time sightings for Pulau Semakau of the reef bristleworm (Eurythoe complanata) and little anemone shrimp (Periclimenes sp.) on a Haddon's carpet anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni).
Yet more great shots by James. On the right, the Copperband butterflyfish (Chelmon rostratus) our first sighting for Pulau Semakau, and on the left mosaic dragonets (Family Callionymidae) at Sentosa.
For our short trip to Sentosa, Kok Sheng also shared our first time sighting of a sponge crab (Family Dromiidae) for this shore.
For most of our Southern shore trips, the big mission was to Find Giant Clams! And Mei Lin found lots! Especially at Pulau Semakau. Here's her photo of one of them. Also check out the great video clips Mei Lin and her team did for their project about these magnificent Giant clams (Family Tridacnidae).
On our trip to Cyrene, we didn't find any live ones, but saw signs of THREE Giant clam species including Hipppopus hippopus, a species that hasn't been seen for a long time on our shores! This photo of the clam shells found is shared by Kok Sheng.
Wow! No matter how many times we visit the shores, we still find new encounters and first sightings for various shores. And always wonderful to see familiar favourites as well.

We've got a few interesting trips lined up for December, hopefully the weather will be kind to us.

Thanks to those who found the critters, and who took photos and shared about them! See all the photos in full glory and read about the recent adventures on these blogs:
I'd gladly include your sightings in the wild fact sheets. Just email me, Ria at hello@wildsingapore.com.

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