21 May 2009

Wildfacts: Shared sightings updated

Here's photos of critters that have been kindly shared on the blogs and/or flickr of intrepid shore explorers. And also video clips, most by Andy. Many are first entries into the wild fact sheets on wildsingapore.
Among the most amazing are Janette's observation of the Mosaic crab (Lophozozymus pictor) feeding on echinoderms on two different trips to Sisters Island and Pulau Hantu. Wow! And Mei Lin shared her find of the Moon-headed sidegill slug (Euselenops luniceps) which is my first entry for Pulau Hantu.

Marcus shared a really nice photo of the small Yellow-lipped sea krait (Laticauda colubrina) that everyone (except me) saw at Sisters Island.
Although James has just joined our trips, he is finding lots of interesting things and sharing on his flickr great photos of first entries for the wild fact sheets.
At Tanah Merah, he took lots of common fishes that I was too lame to shoot: from top left, a Whiting (Family Sillaginidae), a Spotted glass perchlet (Family Chandidae), a little Brown shore goby (Drombus triangularis), and a huge Streaked rabbitfish (Siganus javus). On Sisters Island, he spotted the Freckled goatfish (Upeneus tragula) and a very pretty Bornella nudibranch (Bornella sp.).

Chee Kong also shared lots of photos and identities on his flickr. Besides marvellous rare snails like Walker's cowrie and the Variegated sundial snail, Chee Kong also had these great encounters to share.
These are first or special entries into the wild fact sheets. The Batik tailed slug (Philinopsis sp.) was seen on Beting Bronok, the Cake sea star (Anthenea aspera) on Cyrene Reef, while the pretty Planaxis snail (Planaxis sulcatus) was at Pulau Jong.

When it comes to strange slugs, Chay Hoon is the best!
She shared these slugs on her blog and her flickr, encountered recently on Pulau Sekudu and Pulau Hantu. Clockwise from top left corner: The tiny Gymnodoris sp., Cerberilla sp., Hoplodoris nodulosa, Dendrodoris fumata, Aplysia extraordinaria and Phyllidiella varicosa.
Chay Hoon also found great stuff at Pulau Sekudu including our first entry for the Red scaly sea star (Nepanthia sp.), a lovely heart urchin (probably Maretia ovata) and she saw the Pink sand dollar (Peronella lesueuri) again!

Kok Sheng, however, is the star spotter for the season! With very many entries to add to the wild fact sheets! At Tuas, he managed to get photos with his underwater camera of many of the sea fans that we have commonly seen in the past at lower tides. And our first entry of a mantis shrimp for Tuas!
At Tanah Merah, he found the amazing Craspidaster hesperus, a sea star we saw only for the first time at Beting Bronok. Wow!
Kok Sheng has a gift for finding rarey stuff, and at Siloso beach encountered the rare Laganum sand dollar (Laganum depressum) and Common sea stars (Archaster typicus), which sadly, are not really all that common any more.
He also made several visits to Lazarus Island, and shared amazing sightings such as the rare snail Astraea calcar (top left) and other stunning finds.
At Sisters Island, Kok Sheng shared the wondrous finds of a young Fluted giant clam (Tridana squamosa), a gathering of young Lined eeltail catfishes (Plotosus lineatus), a really tiny Hollow-cheek stonefish (Synanceia horrida), a strange mantis shrimp and a ribbon worm (possibly Baseodiscus delineatus). All first entries to the wild fact sheets for Sisters.
At Terumbu Raya, Kok Sheng spotted more strange stuff including the Fire anemone (Actinodendron sp.) and Pizza anemone (Cryptodendrum adhaesivum). And on Pulau Semakau, he shared the encounter with a really young Fluted giant clam (Tridana squamosa).
On Cyrene Reef, Kok Sheng shared these special finds: A juvenile Cushion star (Culcita novemguineae), a strange sea cucumber (probably Actinopyga sp.) and an egg-carrying Stone crab (Myomenippe hardwicki) which is not commonly seen on our Southern shores.
Even on the rather battered Labrador shore, Kok Sheng found big synaptid sea cucumbers (Family Synaptidae), our first entry to the wild fact sheets for Labrador. And various flatworms.
On Changi, Kok Sheng again documented sea fans while they were still submerged. It's good to know they are still there.
At Pasir Ris, more first entries to the wild fact sheets for the location by Kok Sheng: a tiny smooth octopus, a tiny Tripod fish (Family Tricanthidae) and a pretty Moon crab (probably Matuta victor).
On Tanah Merah, Kok Sheng and Mei Lin risked life and limb to document a vast array of hard corals. There were a variety of Favid corals (Family Faviidae).
As well as lots of corals not commonly seen outside of the Southern Islands. From left to right: a lovely green Galaxy coral (Galaxea sp.), a beautiful blue Carnation coral (Pectinia sp.), and amazingly, even an Acropora coral (Acropora sp.)!
Also Brain coral (possibly Symphyllia sp.), many large Lettuce corals (Pavona sp.) and Flowery disk hard coral (Turbinaria sp.).

These hard corals are probably Bracket mushroom coral, whose ID is hard to ascertain as there are two species which look very similar.
I very rarely see this hard coral even in the Southern Islands, so it's quite astonishing to know they are found at Tanah Merah!

Besides those gorgeous corals, Kok Sheng also spotted these other interesting animals at Tanah Merah.
The odd little flathead that I have yet to identify, the Astraea calcar snail and a Black-lipped conch (Strombus urceus).

Besides these updates, shared photos also allowed me to start up some new fact sheets!

Wow, thanks everyone for sharing those marvellous encounters and allowing me to add them to the wild fact sheets. I've worked hard to clear the backlog because a whole string of exciting trips are coming up. I'm sure there will be even more entries after these trips!

If you have shore sightings to share, I'd be very glad to hear from you. Just email me, Ria at hello@wildsingapore.com.

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