18 September 2009

Crusty at Tanah Merah

Another Saron sighting!
Besides well camouflaged fishes and seahorses, we saw lots of other animals too!

Large but shy, the Saron shrimp slowly disappeared into a crevice after I took its photo. It has tufts of 'hairs' on its front limbs and its back. Unlike the first one I saw here, this one had reddish front parts and tail.
I also saw this strange little black crab nearby.
The Flower crabs (Portunus pelagicus) were moulting and mating today! Here's a pair in deeper water getting the job done.
While this newly moulted Flower crab is all fresh and colourful. Its old 'skin' is on the right in the photo. Like many other crabs and crustaceans, Flower crabs only mate when the female has just moulted. Here's more details about what goes on during moulting.
Even the Spotted moon crabs (Asthoret lunaris) seem to be getting in the mood for mating.
I also saw this very pretty Swimming crab.
And another that didn't look very well as it was covered in barnacles and seaweeds.
Besides the hard shelled creatures, I also came across several flatworms today. We seem to regularly encounter Persian carpet flatworms (Pseudobiceros bedfordi) on this shore. More so than on our other shores. Here's one crawling among seaweeds.
And another on the rocky area.
Also among the rocks were two of these black flatworms with white and orange trim (Pseudobiceros uniarborensis).
And just before we left the shore as the tide came in, there was this pretty black flatworm with white speckles (Pseudobiceros stellae) that I seldom see.
Today, the squid (Family Loliginidae) were still plentiful. Thank goodness as Stephen really wanted to photograph them. As usual, they are attracted to the light of our torches and after a while became pests as we tried to photograph other marine life.
We also noticed that today there seemed to be a lot more Common sea stars (Archaster typicus). I saw one small Garlic bread sea cucumber (Holothuria scabra), and several big bobbly synaptid sea cucumbers (Family Synaptidae).

Sadly, I also noticed several colonies of hard corals that were bleaching. Hard corals bleach when they are stressed. Here's more about bleaching.
I also noticed several dead fishes. I'm not sure what killed them.

I totally forgot there were two more morning trips for the year. Tomorrow is another one. Then the spring tides will happen in the evening. So this series is the switch over period. Usually, at such crossover periods, the tidal predications can be a bit off. So we're lucky, the tides were as expected.

More trips in the days ahead!

More blog posts about this trip

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