It was dark, the water was murky. I was trying to photograph a gianormous squid during a predawn trip today when this even larger THING silently swam towards me.
It hovered a little in front of me before splashing away. Wow! I think I almost forgot to breathe for a while.
IUCN's fact sheet, this fish is globally Near Threatened. One of the reasons it is threatened is that it reproduces slowly. Females give birth to live pups.
This is the huge squid I was trying to photograph. It was about 30cm long. It was rather lethargic and didn't move about quickly, settling on the sandy bottom.
gobies (Family Gobiidae), cardinalfishes (Family Apogonidae), damselfishes (Family Pomacentridae) large and small, with many striped Bengal sergeants (Abudefduf bengalensis). I also saw a few filefishes (Family Monacanthidae) and halfbeaks (Family Hemiramphidae).
Striped eeltail catfishes (Plotosus lineatus)!
Bracket mushroom coral, and one colony of Anemone coral (Goniopora sp.).
Pore corals (Porites sp.) and most seemed alright.
Favid corals (Family Faviidae). Some of them were half dead or yellowish, but most seemed alright.
box crab (Family Calappidae). I'm not sure exactly what kind it is. It was only about 3cm across.
Spotted moon crabs (Ashtoret lunaris). There were many small swimming crabs (Family Portunidae) too!
Common sea stars (Archaster typicus), with two pairs in 'mating' position. I also saw two pairs of 'mating' Flower crabs (Portunus pelagicus): with the male hanging onto a female.
Haddon's carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni) today. Two were settled near the rock wall, and seven in the beds of Ribbon seagrass. Most of them had anemone shrimps (Periclimenes brevicarpalis).
the other lagoon I visited yesterday. The two patches of Smooth ribbon seagrass (Cymodocea rotundata) are doing well and seem even larger. There were several clumps of Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides), their blades seemed chomped off but were green. The small patch of Sickle seagrass (Thalassia hemprichii) had very severely chomped blades.
these wonderful photos. I was wondering how the corals have coped with the oil spill AND the coral bleaching last year.
Lettuce coral (Pavona sp.) and many large colonies of Favid corals (Family Faviidae). I didn't dare get into the water as it was murky and incoming boats created lots of waves.
Purple climber crabs (Metopograpsus sp.)! We shall have to wait for Kok Sheng, The Human Climbing Crab, to revisit this area and share with us more photos and stories of how this reef is doing.
Bazillion snails (Batillaria zonalis) covered vast areas of the sandy lagoon. I also saw many Acorn worms (Class Enteropneusta) producing coils of clean sand.
my last trip here, it was truly magical to see the Eagle ray!
More about the oil spill on this blog and on the Oil spill facebook page.