21 February 2011

Marine life on man-made Seringat-Kias

This marvellous assembly of marine life was seen on the very artificial parts of the man-made island of Seringat-Kias.
But I'm getting ahead of myself as we saw this just as we ended the field trip.

Seringat-Kias was created by reclaiming the submerged reefs of Seringat and Kias. One of the touted features on this island is the C-shaped 1km long artificial lagoon. Here's more about what was done to create Seringat-Kias.
Today I noticed a concrete path had been laid out towards Lazarus Island. It wasn't there when I last visited in Apr 10. We took this to have a quick look at the coastal forest and natural reefs of Lazarus Island.
As the sun set, I rushed to get to the artificial lagoon on Seringat-Kias before the tide turned. The shore here seems somewhat different from the last time I visited in Apr 10. While there were still some Common sea stars (Archaster typicus) , there were a lot more Bazillion snails (Batillaria zonalis). There seemed to be more Spoon seagrasses (Halophila ovalis) and Needle seagrass (Halodule sp.) on the shore too.
There were still some Dubious nerites (Clithon oulaneinsis), and I saw a Cat's ear pyramid snail (Otopleura auriscati). While I saw several sand collars, I saw only one moon snail. The only sea anemone I saw was a Peachia sea anemone (Peachia sp.). I did see any Plain sea anemones that I saw in Jun 09.
I saw a lump of jelly that is probably some kind of cnidarian.
The shore was teeming with Ghost crabs (Ocypode cerathophthalmus)! They scuttled all over the sand and plunged into the waves when alarmed, or buried themselves rapidly into the wet sand.
A shrimp hidden in the sand with only its beady eyes sticking out.
There were also lots of Moon crabs (Asthoret lunaris) in the shallow water. This pair seems ready to be mate.
Sliding just above the sand in the rushing waves were many little flatfishes. After much misses, I managed to catch a shot of one. It looks like a Tongue-sole (Family Cynoglossidae).
There were also lots of Gold-spotted mudskippers (Periophthalmus chrysospilos). By the time we got to the lagoon, it was totally dark, so it was much easier to sneak up to these lively fishes.
We hoped to see some live Laganum sand dollars (Laganum depressum) but alas, only encountered dead skeletons. The last time I saw these sand dollars alive on this shore was in Jun 09. But there were many Cake sand dollars (Arachnoides placenta) on the sandy shore.
At the end of the trip, at the jetty, we notice the sides of the pontoon were thick with marine life! There were soft corals, hard corals, seaweeds, sponges, ascidians, feather stars. Squids were swimming nearby and the rest brought up some strange transparent creatures to examine more closely.
I was captivated by this huge pink sea fan! Wow, it's amazing what can grow on our shores!
Thank goodness for snacks provided by Andy and Russel, or we wouldn't have had the strength to get up from seeing the marine life on the pontoons.
Thanks also to everyone on the trip for contributions to the boat fare!

I also had a look at the coastal forest and natural reefs of Lazarus Island.

More background on Seringat-Kias and Lazarus

Posts by others on this trip

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