31 October 2008

Sentosa Surprises

Solo on Sentosa this sunset with marvellous first time encounters!A Giant carpet anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea) with a resident anemone shrimp (Periclimenes brevicarpalis)!

This anemone is not as common on Sentosa and possibly the only one on the Tanjung Rimau side. The other one was on the shore facing Vivio City that is now being reclaimed for the Integrated Resort.A little further along, this strangely coloured Star anemone. This anemone is quite commonly seen on our reefs, but I've not seen one in this colour before!This anemone has one ring of tentacles, about 15-17 long tentacles with 3 to 5 shorter tentacles are held upright over the mouth, which is usually upturned in a cone. We still don't know the identity of this anemone. For some reason, I didn't see any Frilly sea anemones (Phymanthus sp.) today. These sea anemones are usually very commonly seen on Sentosa and our other reefs.

The shores had some small leathery soft corals, lots of little Pore hard corals (Porites sp.) and some other favid corals (Family Faviidae), and I checked back on the Staghorn coral (Acropora sp.) there.I took a really close look at it and found a strange little green snapping shrimp on it!The white disk at the top right corner is a tiny clam.In fact, there was a pair of the snapping shrimps! I have never seen these shrimps before. Staghorn corals provide hiding places for such tiny animals. Alas, some of the branches of this coral were broken. And recently broken too. Sigh.Another special find is this pretty snail, probably Family Cerithiidae. I see it sometimes, and only on living reefs. So I'm hoping this is a good sign for Sentosa's reefs.

Without the Slug Hunters, I only saw the obvious and common slugs like Jorunna funebris.I saw two of them!

I was also on the lookout for this tiny seaweed.It's really tiny and shaped like a miniature daisy. I realise it is often found near cylindrical white-stemmed seaweed (Neomeris sp.).And also spotted some growing on or through this sponge! This seaweed may be Acetabularia dentata.The sponges were really full of animals.
This blue sponge had a tiny feathery animal (either a fan worm or keelworm or something like that), a tiny brittle star (right edge) and a small Dove snail (Family Columbellidae) on it.The long Tape seagrasses (Enhalus acoroides) were lush and full of life. I was on the look out for the slug I saw on this seagrass at Cyrene. I didn't see it but saw lots of other animals, like this tiny tiny green shrimp on the miniature meadow of algae growing on the seagrass blade.

Hairy seaweeds (Bryopsis sp.) were still abundant on the shore, but not in such huge amounts as at the previous trip to Sentosa.Tonight, some were particularly pretty, with flourescent blue touches in the feathery fronds.It seems the Sargassum seaweeds are starting to 'bloom' with large lush clumps so fresh that they are still free of encrusting organisms.

The shores were a little quiet today, with fewer crabs and fishes. I didn't see an octopus even though I stayed about an hour after sunset. And I tried to find Nerites and failed. Quite strange.

As I headed home with the incoming tide, I checked out the high tide line for critters and startled several Ghost crabs (Ocypode sp.).These look a little different from the usual Ghost crabs we see.Here's another view of the crab, hiding among the rubbish.
The stalks on top of the eyes are not so long on this one, and it was also smaller than the usual kind we see.There was another one that was even smaller.With no stalks at the top of the eyes. Hmmm... are they young ones of the usual Ghost crabs? Or something else altogether. I have no idea.

Earlier when I first arrived, I noticed a recent tree fall. The tree just keeled over off the top of the cliff.This is why it's important to be alert when walking under a natural cliff. It was a huge tree.It's leaves were still fresh so it must have just fallen down. Perhaps due to the rainy weather recently?Alas, there seemed to be a lot more rubbish on the shore today, including a huge crate. I can hear Andy saying "It didn't float here, it's too big. Someone must have dumped it on the shore". I looked, Andy, and there are no identifying markers. And yes, it doesn't look like it was floating in the sea for weeks. In the distance near Labrador, there was this huge structure. I don't know what it is. I guess we need to go to Labrador to find out.

On a reassuring note, I could find no trace of the work off Siloso Beach involving a crane barge. So I guess, either they've done the job, or haven't started yet. Sigh. We just need to continuously visit and monitor our shores.

1 comment:

  1. yes we need to monitor but it seems like you're our solo heroine *sniffles* *guilty* thank you ria :)

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