A small team is back on the shore on a very VERY windy day. While wind keeps the nasty sandflies away, it also ruffles the water making it almost impossible to see or shoot through the water.
Nevertheless, I enjoyed taking a closer look at 'boring' areas which were protected from the incessant wind. It's much calmer, for example, in the forest of seaweeds that float in the lagoon. There is a bloom of Sargassum seaweeds (Sargassum sp.) on the reefs everywhere. This forest of brown blades shelter a galaxy of tiny animals.
tiny hairy isopods (Order Isopoda), dove snails (Family Columbellidae) which seem to be grazing on the white stuff growing on the seaweed blades, and lots of tiny green shrimps with a bent back. Some of them were carrying eggs!
White-spotted rabbitfishes (Siganus canaliculatus) that were sheltering in this clump of seaweed. They are so well camouflaged. I first saw one fish, then two fish. When I got home I realised there were THREE fishes there. Can you see them?
Hairy green seaweed (Bryopsis sp.). More tiny creatures can be seen here. I'm not sure what the hairy orange wormy creature is: scaleworm, bristleworm? There were of course many Bryopsis slugs (Placida dendritica), lots of tiny transparent shrimps, and countless beachfleas (Order Amphipoda).
Ornate leaf slug (Elysia ornata).The rest saw marvellous slugs such as the Moon-headed slug (Euselenops luniceps).
filefish (Family Monacanthidae) stayed very still. It is upside down in relation to this view so it looks quite unfish-like and is easy to miss.
last month. But perhaps I didn't come by this part of the shore at that trip.
Pore coral (Porites sp.) seems to have patches of dead parts which are being taken over by green algae.
Zebra coral (Oulastrea crispata) next to a patch of Feathery soft corals that seem to still be bleaching.
Circular mushroom corals (Family Fungiidae). They seemed unbleached, although this one has a bright pink patch which usually suggests stress or disease.
Sandpaper coral (Psammocora sp.), and one unbleached leathery soft coral (Family Alcyoniidae).
Favid corals (Family Faviidae) remain the most commonly seen coral on the shore. Most seemed unbleached. There were many small colonies all over the place.
corallimorphs (Order Corallimorpharia) which were not bleaching. And also some healthy Frilly anemones (Phymanthus sp.). Kok Sheng saw some special sea anemones including the Pizza anemone (Cryptodendrum adhaesivum), but also one bleaching Bubble-tip anemone (Entacmea quadricolor). More about coral bleaching on Bleach Watch Singapore.
False scorpionfish (Centrogenys vaigiensis) and several other fishes whose identity I don't know.
Drill (Family Muricidae).
Wandering cowrie (Cypraea errones). I've started to take a closer look at 'common' cowries just to be sure they are not something else which might be less common. The Wandering cowerie has one or two brown spots at the front of the shell, and its 'teeth' are not coloured.
Prickly whelk (Nassarius crenoliratus) or something else.
Dolphin shell snail (Angaria delphinus), and lots of busy Dwarf turban snails (Turbo bruneus).
Reef octopus in the ripply water.
Floral egg crabs (Atergatis floridus) and many swimming crabs (Family Portunidae) of all kinds.
Ashy pink sea cucumber (Holothuria fuscocinerea). It was hiding among the rocks and is quite sensitive to the flash, retracting quickly after the first photograph.
brittlestars on the shore. But all I could see of them were their long spindly arms which retracted rapidly as soon as my torchlight fell on them.
prawns which seem unlike the ones I usually see.
gobies (Family Gobiidae). I don't know what kind they are, but they are very well camouflaged against the sand and I only spot them when they move.
Land hermit crabs (Coenobita sp.). In a burrow well beyond the high water mark, in the middle of grass, I saw the legs of a crab. Could this be the rarer Smooth-eyed ghost crab (Ocypode cordimana)? There's so much more to discover about our shores!
I also removed an abandoned driftnet from Sisters Island today.
The rest of the team saw all kinds of marvellous creatures too! It's good that we had spread out to cover more ground and make separate sightings. Also makes it more fun to read one another's blogs!
Other posts about the trip