I'm back on Cyrene with another enthusiastic team from the Maritime and Port Authority organised by Joanne Fang.
Here's the team eager for the landing while waiting for the dinghy to be set down on the water.
in the middle of the industrial triangle and yet it has amazing marine life!
Cake sand dollars (Arachnoides placenta). Also many Common sea stars (Archaster typicus). Not to forget the intriguing sand coils made by Acorn worms (Class Enteropneusta). The presence of such marine life shows that the sand is clean.Olive snail (Olivia minicea). This bullet shaped snail burrows rapidly into the ground, as we found out. So far, I've only seen this snail on Cyrene.
Knobbly sea stars (Protoreaster nodosus) on some parts of Cyrene.
"the presence of juveniles, subadults and adults indicated that there
is a healthy level of recruitment at Cyrene Reef. This habitat may be the only sustainable population of knobbly seastars left in Singapore today".
Pentaceraster sea star (Pentaceraster mammilatus) that was first seen on Cyrene and is a new record for Singapore.
Cerianthid (Order Ceriantharia), they are also called Peacock anemones because of their colourful variety. Here among the seagrasses and various kinds of seaweeds, there are lots of worm-like Synaptid sea cucumbers (Family Synaptidae), Swimming anemones (Boloceroides mcmurrichi) and other small critters. The area is also dotted with Chocolate sponges (Spheciospongia cf. vagabunda) and Fan shell clams (Family Pinnidae).
Grey bonnet snail (Phalium glaucum) ambling about on the shore. This snail feeds on sand dollars, and is rarely seen elsewhere though common on Cyrene. It was a little lethargic but finally it came out of its shell, showing its curious siphon and tentacles.
White sea urchins (Salmacis sp)
that carry things. So they are rather hard to spot. Their tiny spines tickle when you hold one in the palm of your hand. This sea urchin is
more common on our northern shores like Chek Jawa and seldom seen on
our southern shores. Indeed, I consider Cyrene the Chek Jawa of the South.
flowery soft corals (Family Nephtheidae), lots of large leathery soft corals (Family Alcyoniidae), sponges and of course hard corals.
mass coral bleaching event in 2010.
octopus! Who obliges to allow some shots before disappearing into its burrow. A squirmy Worm-eel (Muraenichthys sp.) was also spotted, as well as many small fishes which whizzed away so quickly we couldn't really tell what they were.
Extraordinary sea hare (Aplysia extraodinaria)!
hairy crab (Family Pilumnidae) that looks fluffy so we sometimes call it the 'Teddybear crab', moults of Flower crabs (Portunus pelagicus), lots of hermit crabs large and small. Resembling tiny lobsters, we saw and heard snapping shrimps (Family Alpheidae). We saw several feathery fanworms (Family Sabellidae).
Thanks to Joanne for organising this trip which arose from the little talk I gave to MPA last month.
And a big thank you to all the MPA staff who made time to
come, and put up with my lame jokes and spotted so many great things on
Now I'm off for another exciting series of lectures at the Bivalve Workshop in the afternoon!