I checked out Cyrene Reef near the beacon on our team's last trip to Cyrene for the year. The beacon is 1km from our landing point, so it was a long walk there and back!
There are many large leathery soft coral (Family Alcyoniidae) here. I noticed that many of had lots of ctenaphores on them. Resembling flat worms, I saw ctenaphores with stripes, others with spots.
Very hairy hermit crab (Dardanus lagopodes) nestled in the middle of one.
Favid corals (Family Faviidae). There were also many Pore coral (Porites sp.) and some flowery soft corals (Family Nephtheidae). This area is not as 'reefy' as the western end of Cyrene which I surveyed on our trip last month, and this has been the case on my previous checks here.
I also came across a Spider conch (Lambis lambis); I've looked at my records and it seems we haven't recorded this rather common snail for Cyrene yet! As with night trips on most of our shores, I also saw several octopuses.
Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides). Most of these long patches had lush growths of Hairy green seaweed (Bryopsis sp.). Len of SeagrassWatch during his trip to Cyrene in May 2012 suggested that the Tape seagrasses are cropped and burnt because the white sand in shallow areas may reinforce the heat. So perhaps the green seaweeds made it easier for these clumps of Tape seagrasses?
Elsewhere on Cyrene, although there is good growths of other kinds of seagrasses, the Tape seagrasses are cropped short.
dugong feeding trails! Siti first observed dugong feeding trails on Cyrene in Apr 2012.
Caulerpa racemosa. I saw some producing a yellowish 'cloud': reproduction? The rest of the team found tiny slugs that resemble these seaweeds, but I was too blind to spot any.
Long black sea cucumbers (Holothuria leucospilota). Were the poles dumped on Cyrene?
Creeper snails (Family Cerithiidae). There are many kinds of these snails and I haven't yet had a closer look at them.
Knobbly sea stars (Protoreaster nodosus) are still there. The team also spotted the special Pentaceraster sea star (Pentaceraster mammilatus) that was first seen on Cyrene and is a new record for Singapore.
Seagrass anemones we have recently seen on Cyrene and elsewhere. Wow!
Polka-dot sea cucumber (Holothuria ocellata) for Cyrene, as well as two strange sea cucumbers that I've not seen before. In shape, they look somewhat like the Smooth red sea cucumber (Actinopyga sp.) which we have found on coral rubble. But these on Cyrene were seen on sand among seagrasses. Another mysterious creature to figure out. Kok Sheng also found a Cake sea star (Anthenea aspera), a rare sighting on Cyrene.
Big synaptid sea cucumbers (Family Synaptidae) among the seagrasses today.
Sadly, we didn't see any sharks today although everyone looked hard for them. I hope the sharks are ok.
This is our last predawn trip to Cyrene and our last team trip to Cyrene for year as there are few favourable low tides the rest of the year. But working trips to Cyrene with TeamSeagrass will continue! Hope Cyrene stays well until we can visit again next year.
Tomorrow, we have a look at Big Sisters Island!
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