In some parts, the ground was so thickly encrusted, I just didn't step there to avoid squashing animals.
sponges in bright colours and strange shapes! It certainly is a sponge paradise.
Velcro crabs (Camposcia retusa). These crabs stick all kinds of living things on their velcro-like hooked hairs on their legs and bodies. They are hard to spot until they move! Russel took some video clips of them. A photo doesn't do justice to their superb disguise. I also came across some large Sponge crabs (Family Dromiidae).
Alicia sea anemone (Alicia sp.)!
Haekel's anemone (Actinostephanus haeckeli). This one was blackish with greenish tinges. Sam saw several all black ones too.
Pulau Sekudu recently, and at Chek Jawa some time ago. Dr Daphne is interested in this so it's great to finally get a closer look at one.
Haddon's carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni), some with tiny anemone shrimps, and one with a pair of Five-spot anemone shrimps (Periclimenes brevicarpalis). There were also many Glass anemone (Dofleinia sp.), and poor Rene got stung by one. Fortunately, the pain went away by the time we arrived back on the mainland. There were also some Swimming anemones (Boloceroides mcmurrichi).
Pore corals (Porites sp.), both the boulder-shaped ones and those with bumps. I only saw one colony that was bleaching.
Boulder sandpaper coral (Psammocora sp.), Neat hexa coral (Pseudosiderastrea tayami) and Favid coral (Family Faviidae).
Pink flowery soft corals and Ball flowery soft corals. These are homes to many tiny animals from False cowrie snails (Family Ovulidae) to shrimps, porcelain crabs and white snapping shrimps -- often found in a pair.
flowery sea pens (Family Veretillidae), Common sea pen (Pteroides sp.) and Slender sea pen (Virgularia sp.). As usual, tiny Painted porcelain crabs (Porcellanella picta) can be found in some of them.
Button zoanthids (Zoanthus sp.). These animals carpet vast stretches of the shore
Beting Bronok like many of our Northern shores are an echinoderm paradise. Today, I only saw one Knobbly sea stars (Protoreaster nodosus) and it was standing on its toes, a sign that it's preparing to spawn! There were many Biscuit sea stars (Gonodiscaster scaber) large and small. I saw one Cake sea star (Anthenea aspera), one Red scaly sea star (Nepanthia sp.). The rest of the team saw Painted sand stars (Astropecten sp.) and the Spiny sea star (Gymnanthenea laevis).
last year, we didn't see any feather stars!
Thorny sea urchin (Prionodidaris sp.), some with slender spines, others with thicker spines. Several White sea urchins (Salmacis sp.) and one Black sea urchin (Temnopleurus sp.). I also saw a wide variety of sea cucumbers: Orange sea cucumbers, Thorny sea cucumbers (Colochirus quadrangularis), and Purple sea cucumber.
stinging hydroids on this shore. In one, I saw a mama cuttlefish had laid her bunch of egg capsules, black with ink. I could see the tiny babies developing inside the capsules!
Black spotted flatworms (Acanthozoon sp.), and I saw one Olive flatworm.
rabbitfishes (Family Siganidae), filefishes (Family Monacanthidae) and this fish that looks like a little grouper (Family Serranidae).
octopus, it was hiding in its burrow pretending to be just another little pebble.
Onyx cowries (Cypraea onyx) on the shore. Mei Lin also found some other kinds of cowries. Sam saw the Baler snail (Melo melo), and Marcus the Noble volute (Cymbiola nobilis). Large Fan shell clams (Family Pinnidae) are still seen today, often festooned with living encrusting marine life.
Spoon seagrasses (Halophila ovalis)!
'Gong-gong' a common edible snail. That's odd, because this snail is more abundant on shores like Changi.
last year, I get the sense that the shore is slightly better.
|Colourful marine life at Beting Bronok in 2003.|
|Sea fan garden at Beting Bronok, Jun 04.|
It was good to see that Beting Bronok remains alive and full of fascinating creatures. But to me, it remains a shadow of the way it was before reclamation started nearby. It has since also been affected by the flooding that led to mass deaths at Chek Jawa in 2007, and the coral bleaching in 2010 and a ferry ran aground on Beting Bronok in Jul 2011. And will Beting Bronok be affected by plans to develop massive petrochemical and port facilities at nearby Pengerang, Johor? Here's some old photos of marine life at Beting Bronok. We can only hope for the best for this wonderful reef on our Northern shore.
The rest of the team saw lots more that I missed, including of course, many nudibranchs, fishes and other interesting creatures!
Posts by others on this trip
- Russel with seahorse, slugs, stars and more.
- James with super close ups of all kinds of critters.
- Mei Lin with waspfish, slugs, stars.
- Sam with a bonanza of beauties.
- Rene a stinging experience and other more pleasant encounters.
- Jocelyne with more finds.
- Pei Yan with explanation of Venus transit day and more sightings.