The Masked burrowing crab (Gomeza bicornis) is rarely seen as it hides in its burrow. Because we know the museum is keen to video these crabs in action, we were on the look out for them. And today we found six of them just sitting above ground. We have no idea why.
|Photo by Loh Kok Sheng.|
a few days ago.
Striped hermit crab (Clibanarius infraspinatus) (orange arrow), many Plain sand stars (Astropecten sp.) (yellow arrow), many Hammer oysters (Malleus sp.) (blue oyster) almost all of them with the tongue-shaped portion sticking up. There were also many more Pink warty sea cucumbers (Cercodemas anceps) (pink arrow) than Thorny sea cucumber (Colochirus quadrangularis). Usually, it's the other way around.
White sea urchins (Salmacis sp.). They were everywhere. I didn't see any other kind of sea urchin today.
Razor clams (Family Solenidae). Are there many more living ones still buried in the sand? Many animals live in the sand and what we see during a short low tide on the surface is just a tiny fraction of the biodiversity that can be found on a shore.
seagrass pipefishes. These fishes seem to be seasonally common in the seagrass meadows. Do the pregnant papas come to the meadows to release their live babies? Like their cousins the seahorses, the male pipefish keep the eggs in a pouch on their bellies.
Smallhead dragonets (Callionymus erythraeus), several tiny Kite butterflyfish (Parachaetodon ocellatus) and a small goatfish (Upeneus tragula).
filefish (Family Monacanthidae) looks so much like a blade of seagrass, that even the Rabbitfishes (Family Siganidae) flatten up next to it.
Fringe-eyed flathead (Cymbacephalus nematophthalmus).
Crocodile flathead goby (Psammogobius biocellatus).
Commerson's sole (Synaptura commersonnii).
green prawns (Family Penaeidae). There were also lots of Flower crabs (Portunus pelagicus) and Spotted moon crabs (Ashtoret lunaris). Also well camouflaged Elbow crab (Family Parthenopidae). Chay Hoon found a Pebble crab (Family Leucosiidae) and I saw a Leaf porter crab (Family Dorripidae).
Spiral melongena (Pugilina cochlidium), but this snail has a longer pointy part (siphonal canal) and the body is not very black. Hmm...
Baler snails (Melo melo). But there was a large shell of a dead one. It was occupied by an Seagrass octopus!
large cockle has frilly tentacles sticking out the shell opening! There were many large living Window pane clams (Placuna sp.) all over the seagrass meadows.
Pink sand dollar (Peronella lesueuri), unlike in Aug 2012 when we saw lots of them here. Although there were some ordinary Cake sand dollars (Arachnoides placenta). Unlike in the past, and other parts of Changi just a few days ago, we didn't see many kinds of sea stars here today. I saw only a few Painted sand stars (Astropecten sp.) and one Biscuit sea star (Goniodiscaster scaber). In the past we used to even see Knobbly sea stars here.
Oval moon snail (Polinices mammilla) on Changi. These are common in the South, in the north, the Ball moon snail (Polinices didyma) is more common. I also saw several Pink moon snails (Natica zonalis) and one large moon snail that looks like a Naked moon snail but which Siong Kiat has pointed out has an operculum and is a moon snail. Possibly the Bosom moon snail (Polinices mammatus)?
Orange sea cucumber, several large Garlic bread sea cucumbers (Holothuria scabra), many Beige sea cucumbers and one Remarkable sea cucumber (Holothuria notabilis). There were many Ball sea cucumbers (Phyllophorus sp.) and Smooth sea cucumbers.
Miliaris cowrie (Cypraea miliaris). I saw the strange Mitre snails (Family Mitridae) that we started seeing since our trip in Aug 2012. There were some Olive snails (Family Olividae) and many Noble volute (Cymbiola nobilis) of all sizes.
Big hermit-hitching anemones stuck onto Fan clams instead. This one was fully expanded, with its short and long tentacles facing in opposite directions. Other sea anemones seen on this trip was one Tiger anemone, a Glass anemone (Dofleinia sp.). I saw one Ball flowering soft corals (Dendronephthya sp.), a few Flowery sea pens (Family Veritillidae), Common sea pens and Spiky sea pens, Slender sea pens (Virgularia sp.). There were many sea pencils. As usual, there were only a few cerianthids (Order Ceriantharia) here.
Haddon's carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni). Those in the north are usually teeming with tiny anemone shrimps (Periclimenes sp.). I don't see these tiny shrimps on the carpet anemones in the south. Another mystery of our shores.
Fern seagrass (Halophila spinulosa), large leaved Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis) and Needle seagrass (Halodule sp.) everywhere. I saw a few furrows that looked like dugong feeding trails but it's hard to be sure in the dark. I got the sense that the sand bars have moved and the shape and structure of the lagoons have changed. It's hard to tell in the dark.
Fan clams (Family Pinnidae) were heavily encrusted with thick layers of ascidians of various kinds. Is the sudden 'bloom' of ascidians a result of changes in the water? I noticed massive works at the park area in Aug 2012 and was worried about sand being piled on the beach to 'replenish' it.
Tomorrow, we explore the artificial shores of East Coast Park which had surprised us in the past.
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