Today is our annual night trip to Cyrene Reef. We try to do this a few times in a year, because marine creatures are usually more active in the dark.
How nice to see these pretty pink Laganum sand dollars (Laganum depressum)! These are rarely seen elsewhere, and despite visiting Cyrene so frequently, it's my first time seeing them on here.
Zebra moon snail (Natica areolata) which we seldom see. She noticed it was dragging another snail on the tip of its back foot. Something we noticed when we saw this snail elsewhere too.
elbow crab (Family Parthenopidae) that looks kind of different from the usual ones that we see.
Snaky sea anemone (Macrodactyla doreensis) with a pair of Five spot anemone shrimps (Periclimenes brevicarpalis) in it. This is my first time seeing these anemone shrimps in this anemone. I also saw many Swimming anemones (Boloceroides mcmurrichi) both large and very tiny. Also some Haddon's carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni) mostly tiny or medium sized.
Cauliflower corals (Pocillopora sp.). These were among the first to bleach during the mass coral bleaching event in 2010.
Pore coral (Porites sp.), and some of the colonies were quite large.
Anemone coral (Goniopora sp.) and they looked relatively ok, and a few Flowery disk corals (Turbinaria sp.), also looking alright.
Favid corals (Family Faviidae) and most of them looked well. Some of the largest colonies here are Favid corals.
flowery soft corals (Family Nephtheidae) as well as many small to medium sized leathery soft corals (Family Alcyoniidae). So far, they all seemed fine.
Knobbly sea stars (Protoreaster nodosus). Which are still abundant on Cyrene!
Pentaceraster sea star (Pentaceraster mammilatus) that was first seen on Cyrene and is a new record for Singapore. We saw two small ones and Russel saw a big one that is darker, so we sometimes call it the Death Star.
Melibe viridis has a 'hood' at its head that it can stretch out ostensibly to trap tiny prey. It can also swim!
Mosaic crabs (Lophozozymus pictor), Singapore's most poisonous crab. It can be deadly to eat even after it is cooked. Animals with bright colours and patterns should usually not be messed with.
Swimming crabs (Family Portunidae) are common on the reef, as well as the large Spotted black flatworm (Acanthozoon sp.), all near a large leathery soft coral. I also saw an Olive flatworm.
Grey bonnet snail (Phalium glaucum) are more active. Cyrene is one of the few places where this snail is commonly seen. In the lower right corner is a tiny China moon snail (Natica onca)!
Japanese bonnet snail (Semicassia bisulcatum). It is smaller and has a spotted shell with a dark foot.
Eggwhite moon snail (Polinices albumen). Its common name makes sense only when the pure white animal emerges from its orange shell. It then does kind of look like a sunny-side fried egg.
octopus perfectly camouflaged among these seaweeds. Can you spot it?
Scintilla clams (Family Galeommatidae). These tiny clams with delicate shells produce little fingers and have a long foot. They can move quite rapidly!
When we first landed, there was a huge cloud of emissions over the refineries on Pulau Bukom.
Cyrene lies in the middle of the "industrial triangle" it has magnificent seagrass meadows, wonderful reefs and amazing marine life!
Tomorrow, I'm going back to Cyrene, this time for a special trip to introduce this marvelous reef to a special group of people.
Posts by others on this trip