Discodoris boholiensis crawling about on the rock wall. And this is also my first entry for Tanah Merah into the wild fact sheets. Wow.
I am out for an early morning trip with Dr Paul Erftemeijer. We arrived before dawn for a not-so-low tide. He is very tall, so the high water doesn't bother him much.
an important role in sequestering carbon in the ocean! Dr Paul noticed many individuals of our usual sea squirts growing on the seawall.
Bengal sergeants (Abudefduf bengalensis) swimming in schools near the rocks.
Chequered cardinalfish (Apogon margaritophorus). I'm not sure what the other cardinalfishes are. As usual, the most abundant small fish I saw are the Ornate gobies (Istigobius ornatus).
|Mystery fish no. 1: An emperor (Family Lethrinidae)?|
|Mystery fish no. 2|
|Mystery fish no. 3|
White-spotted rabbitfishes (Siganus canaliculatus) in the seagrasses, seaweeds and out and about in small schools over the sand.
squids (Family Loliginidae)! They seemed rather nervous and scooted away from us rapidly. Here's the same squid changing patterns before squirting out a squid-shaped ink blob and zooming away.
Ovum cowrie (Cypraea ovum)! I've seen a cowrie a few times on trips since the oil spill, but not often. The most abundant snail remains the Bazillion snails (Batillaria zonalis) which carpeted the sandy lagoon.
Common sea stars (Archaster typicus) spaced rather far apart. I didn't see any in mating position.
Blue-tailed prawns (Family Penaeidae). They were behaving as usual, burrowing into the sand when threatened, leaving only their bulbous eyes sticking out on the surface.
Mud crabs (Scylla sp.). This one seems to be eating some kind of snail? During my trip in Oct 2010, I also encountered these crabs here. These crabs are usually only found in mangroves. They are also commonly released by people who do so for religious reasons. It's sad to see them here as they are not in their natural habitat and are unlikely to be able to find enough of the food that they are specialised to feed on. Animals release can harm the animals and the habitat. More about this issue.
Flower crabs (Portunus pelagicus), but did see this pair that seems to be getting ready to mate. I did see several small to medium-sized Swimming crabs (Family Portunidae), and one small Stone crab (Myomenippe hardwicki).
I saw the usual hard corals growing on the seawall. All those I saw seemed unbleached. Most were Favid corals (Family Faviidae) with many small and large patches of Zebra coral (Oulastrea crispata) and a few Pore corals (Porites sp.). Dr Paul also pointed out some tiny colonies of Flowery disk coral (Turbinaria sp.). I saw one patch of Button zoanthids or colonial anemones (Zoanthus sp.).
Smooth ribbon seagrass (Cymodocea rotundata) are still large and seem to be growing! The blades look well. Dr Paul says this seagrass is among the fastest growing pioneer species! Wow, I didn't know that.
Barracudas (Family Sphyraenidae).
Haddon's carpet anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni) among the seagrasses. Perhaps the others that I saw on my earlier trips have burrowed into the sand?
Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides) had bloomed recently. The blades looked well, and there were many white blobs on them. Eggs?
Sickle seagrass (Thalassia hemprichii)and we still didn't see any Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis) here. From what I saw, the most abundant seaweed on the shore were Mermaid's fan (Padina sp.) on the rocky seawall, with only a few strands of Sargassum seaweed (Sargassum sp.) here and there. Ropes were covered with Pom pom red seaweed and other kinds of seaweeds.
We saw a few happy and fluffy fan worms (Family Sabellidae), both the orange and the brown banded ones.
Peanut worm (Phylum Sipuncula). It was not distressed like the ones we saw when the oil spill first hit the shore. It was quite lively and burrowed rapidly back into the sand.
sand bubbler crabs (Scopimera sp.), and has many signs of living Acorn worms (Class Enteropneusta). We also saw many shallow 'craters' on the sand bar, perhaps made by foraging stingrays?
a month ago.
More about the oil spill on this blog and on the Oil spill facebook page.