20 October 2009

Pasir Ris check up

We're out to check up on the mangroves and seagrasses at Pasir Ris.
It's a bright hot evening and tide is not very low. But Eugene needs to scope out the seagrasses at Pasir Ris and Rob joins us for this muddy adventure.

The shores of Pasir Ris can be very soft in many parts. But the seagrasses are quite lush. Probably because it's hard to trample them? Eugene is very happy with the vast expanse of Spoon seagrasses (Halophila ovalis) there.

Meanwhile, I head off to have a look at the mangroves here. The Pisang-pisang (Kandelia candel) is still alive, and has a few more leaves. But the leaves on one of the two branches is being eaten up by something. No flowers or fruit. This is the ONLY Pisang-pisang plant in Singapore. Oh dear.
A little trek deeper into squishy mangroves, and the Bakau mata buaya (Bruguiera hainesii) is doing well.
There are lots of flowers in the tree, as well as fallen flower parts.
And also lots of developing propagules on the tree. Although I didn't manage to find any fallen propagules under the tree.
This is one of the only two trees in Singapore. The other tree is on Pulau Ubin.

The tiny patch of mangroves seems alright. The usual mangrove animals abound. Like the Chut-chut snails with the red body (Cerithidea obtusa). These snails have a distinctive squat shell with sculptured ridges. The snail has red eyes and a red margin around the body.
There was also one little Mangrove drill (Chicocerus capucinus), also with a sculptured shell. This mangrove dweller is a predator and feeds on mussels, barnacles, clams and worms living in wood.
Where there's mud, there's of course, mudskippers. This skinny little mudskipper with pretty markings might be a Silver-lined mudskipper (Periophthalmus argentilineatus) or something else. I'm not too sure.There were a lot of these big fat mudskippers playing in the streams of the mangroves. I have no idea what they are.
There are some sand bars and they were teeming with countless fiddler crabs. Which were very difficult to stalk as it was still broad daylight. And they could sense me stomping up to them from far away. But I managed to sneak up on this Orange fiddler crab (Uca vocans) with its flat sabre-like enlarged pincer that is pimply on the outside and has a ridge on the lower claw.
I also noticed a climber with pretty pale violet flowers growing wild on the eroding bank at the shore. It's possibly Canavalia cathartica.
On the shore there were people fishing with a cast net and walking with plastic bags collecting stuff.
Meanwhile, Kok Sheng, James and Sean were out on another part of Pasir Ris. They saw a lot more interesting stuff!

Check out their sightings on their blogs

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