19 April 2011

Aegiceras finally!

I've long wanted to see the Kacang-kacang (Aegiceras corniculatum) and finally, this evening, I saw it!
The Kacang-kacang is not as tall as I expected it to be.
Thanks to Hui Ping and Shufen who patiently taught me how to identify this tricky mangrove plant.

Here's Shufen taking a photo of the plant while she explains its characteristics.
The leaves are alternating instead of opposite one another. Although at the branch tips they may be crowded and thus appear to be opposite.
The leaves have obvious veins that form a rather wide 'margin' around the leaf edge.
Many common plants in the mangroves look like Kacang-kacang. On the left, Api-api ludat (Avicennia officinalis) and on the right Jeruju (Acanthus sp.).
Also similar is the Chengam (Scyphiphora hydrophyllacea). Of course all these plants are more easily distinguished when they have fruits and flowers.
Here's Kacang-kacang with flower buds.
Here's the whole bush with flowers.
As usual, we are distracted by other mangrove stuff. There's lots of Dungun air (Brownlowia tersa) here and some are fruiting. We are impressed by the large fruits of this one.
We had a quick look at the Bakau mata buaya (Bruguiera hainesii). It's still flowering! But alas, no propagules were found on the ground.
Shufen spots a huge congregation of Mangrove stink bugs (Calliphara nobilis) on the Bruguiera hainesii. Although the larvae of these bugs are found only on the Buta-buta tree (Excoecaria algallocha), the adults may be found under different kinds of mangrove tree leaves.
What a pretty orange moth on the mud!
Today, we noticed lots of 'dead' crabs in the mangroves. A closer examination and we realise they are mostly moults. Indeed, the live crabs we encounter do appear especially fresh and colourful! Wow, that's a lot of moulting going on. Is it some kind of special marine breeding season now? Because this spring tide period in April we are expecting our corals to mass spawn. Hmmm....
On the way home, we meet the workers of the Reserve who are diligently clearing the accumulated litter along the shore.
They have been hard at work with many garbage bags of collected litter. This is done regularly, usually with the spring tide which gathers all the trash on the high shore. Alas, it is a thankless and unending task as more trash comes in with every tide. Sigh.
Thank you once again to Hui Ping and Shufen for teaching me about the Kacang-kacang. I'm not very good at identifying plants. It really helps me if I see it in the wild, and get some explanations and tips. Hopefully, I'll be able to spot it on my own now as I wander through our mangroves!

4 comments:

  1. CooL! Nice finding! Maybe now is the molting season? It will be interesting to find out more. :)

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  2. Thanks Brandon! Yes, there's so much more to learn about our mangroves!

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  3. Well done, Ria!

    cheers
    John

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  4. I'm excited too Dr Yong! Hope now I can find more AC!

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