30 August 2009

Wildfacts updates: colourful fiddlers and more

A frenzy over fiddlers yesterday suggests I should consolidate our sightings even though we have no idea what these fiddlers might be.
These photos shared by James are of tiny fiddler crabs with red eye stalks, and a larger fiddler with a stout and pimply enlarged pincer.

Of course the most exciting crustacean seen of this period was a live Mud lobster (Thalassina sp.) crawling about in the open during the Naked Hermit Crab tour of the Chek Jawa boardwalk. November shared a great video clip of this rare encounter on her flickr.

Mei Lin shared our first sightings for Little Sisters of the Parasol green seaweed (Caulerpa peltata), Copperband butterflyfish (Chelmon rostratus) and Blue spotted flatworm (cf Pseudoceros indicus).
More great first sightings for the Sisters Islands shared by Liana: Longspined scorpionfish (Paracentropogon longispinis), the fabulous Arabian cowrie (Cypraea arabica), and the delightful Phyllidiella pustolosa nudibranch. With a first sighting of the Gong-gong (Strombus canarium) on the East Coast shared by Marcus.
Kok Sheng shared these exciting encounters on the East Coast and a new section of Tanah Merah. The beautiful Banded-leg swimming crab (Charybdis annulata), a pretty little soft coral false cowrie, Spiny sea star (Gymnanthenea laevis), our first sighting of the pencil sea pen outside of Changi-Chek Jawa, and the big brittle star with very long arms (Ophiotrix longipedia). As well as the intriguing Firebrand murex snail (Chicoreus torrefactus) from Sisters Islands.
James of course shared a huge number of high quality photos of first sightings for the location. From Tanah Merah, a small anemone on a living snail, slender sea pen (Virgularia sp.), common sea pen (Pteroides sp.), an unidentified sea anemone with ball-shaped tips, the White spiral fan worm and Spotted fan worm.
Also our first sighting of the Marine spider (Desis martensi) on the East Coast, a peacock sole (Pardachirus pavoninus), a great shot of what seems to be a juvenile Three-spot damselfish (Pomacentrus tripunctatus), a bobtail squid (Order Sepiolidae) and Sea toad spider crab (Schizophrys sp.) at Tanah Merah. And our first sighting of the Spider conch (Lambis lambis) on Tuas.
James shared more great photos of the feather stars seen on Little Sisters, as well as the small brittle star with flat arms at Tanah Merah.
Also thanks to Ivan of the Lazy Lizard's Tales for many comments suggesting ID for perplexing critters.

All these wonderful sightings shared adds to our checklist for our various shores. And also allowed me to upload some new fact sheets.
Thanks to those who found the critters, and who took photos and shared about them!

See all the photos in full glory and read about the adventures on the contributors' blogs:
I'd gladly include your sightings in the wild fact sheets. Just email me, Ria at hello@wildsingapore.com.


  1. Sighting of mud lobster in open space during daytime is really rare. I only saw it once after a heavy rain. The locals call it thunder crab, which implies that it comes out in rainy day too? Thanks for sharing.

  2. Most definitely agree with you Murphy that it was an incredible encounter! November and Marcus saw it, while the rest of us could only see it on video :-(

    From my understanding, what locals call the Thunder crab is Myomenippe hardwickii, see this for more about how it got its common name.

    But sure, it is possible that mud lobsters are more active after a heavy rain.

    So much more to learn about our marinelife!



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