Is this a stonefish?! This strange unidentified fish is among the special finds on our early morning trip today to Lazarus Island.
Here's a closer look at the head of the strange fish. Is it the False stonefish (Scorpaenopsis diabolus)? Which is not a stonefish but is a scorpionfish and can also inflict painful stings. [Update: Jeffrey Low kindly confirmed that this fish is indeed the False stonefish! Thanks Jeff!]
Painted scorpionfish (Parascorpaena picta).
2009! Alas, this previously pebbly rocky shore is now coated in a thick layer of silt below the low water mark. Large areas are covered by an unidentified fine hairy thing that is a weird purple in some patches. It looks ominous.
gobies (Family Gobbidae) of all kinds. Also some Frilly sea anemones (Phymanthus sp.). I saw one Wiggly reef anemone and a Shy glass cerianthid, both my first time for Lazarus. But no large sea anemones.
Favid corals (Family Faviidae), with some Pore corals (Porites sp.). I saw one Disk coral (Turbinaria sp.), one Blue coral (Heliopora coerulea) and a few small leathery soft corals (Family Alcyoniidae). The shore is certainly not as 'reefy' and those on St. John's Island which lies just across a narrow channel from Lazarus Island.
Sargassum seaweed (Sargassum sp.) is starting to bloom, as it usually does towards the end of the year. And there's lots of fishes and other marine life in this golden thicket. I came across this medium sized octopus hunting for titbits among the seaweed.
Fan bellied filefish (Monocanthus chinensis). Also a Carpet eel-blenny (Congrogadus subducens), one Yellow banded damselfish (Dischistodus fasciatus), and some young damselfishes, lots of electric blue Silversides (Atherinomorus duodecimalis).
Giant top shell snail (Trochus niloticus), lots of strange snails and some common cowries. The rest of the team found an Arabian cowrie (Cypraea arabica) but more excitingly, Andy and Jose found a special chiton possibly Acanthopleura gemmata which so far we've only seen on St. John's Island.
Drills (Family Muricidae), which look the same until I take a closer look at the underside. So much more to find out!
Spoon seagrasses (Halophila ovalis), I didn't come across the Sickle seagrass (Thalassia hemprichii) patches that I saw in 2009.
Long black sea cucumber (Holothuria leucospilota) and some Little African sea cucumber (Afrocucumis africans), but didn't have time to properly look on the high shore for some of the special animals that Kok Sheng found here on our last trip in Apr 2012.
The tide turned after sunrise, so we headed back to the pontoon located on the artificial shores of Seringat-Kias. The area is returning to nature with lots of wildflowers and lallang. We saw a Magpie robin and heard all kinds of birds.
what was done to create Seringat-Kias. There's marine life on the artificial shore as well as on the natural shores of Lazarus Island. We met up with the rest of the team who explored Seringat-Kias who saw all kinds of other marine life. Among the special finds today was this little slug found by Pei Yan!
Tomorrow, we're going on our last morning trip to Cyrene Reef for the year.
Posts by others on this trip