04 March 2010

The 'snail-shrimp' and other marvels in the latest Raffles Bulletin of Zoology

The latest edition of the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology is out! I was most intrigued by this shrimp. Can you spot the shrimp in this photo?
How about in this photo?

Isn't it just awesome?! This is the incredible Vercoia interrupta, a shrimp that resembles dead cerithiid snails. Even when moving, the shrimp resembles a hermit-occupied shell. The one in the paper was found in the Philippines. But Vercoia species are found in shallow tropical waters in the Indo-West Pacific. So perhaps we might find some in Singapore too?

Read more in "A second finding of Vercoia interrupta Kim & Fujita, 2004 (Crustacea, Decapoda, Crangonidae), a remarkable shrimp imitating dead snail shells". Arthur Anker. Pp. 27-30. [pdf, 341 KB]

A new species of soft coral is described from Singapore!
It is Cladiella hartogi and was found at Pulau Hantu and other Southern locations.
The paper also describes some other species of leathery soft corals seen on our shores. a-b Lobophytum, c-d Sacrophyton.
e: Sacrophyton, f-g: Sinularia, h: Carijoa.
Sadly, the study suggests that "the fleshy octocoral fauna of Singapore is rather impoverished compared to other reefs in the region." Read more "On some Octocorallia (Cnidaria: Anthozoa: Alcyonacea) from Singapore, with a description of a new Cladiella species." Y. Benayahu and L. M. Chou. Pp. 1-13. [pdf, 913 KB]

Singapore and Giant clams around the world
Singapore seems to be somewhat in the middle of the global distribution of Giant clam species. This map is the result of a study of the distribution, density and status of giant clams in 15 countries. Read more "The distribution and status of giant clams (Family Tridacnidae) – A short review." Ahmad Syukri bin Othman, Gideon H. S. Goh and Peter A. Todd. Pp. 103-111. [pdf, 1.28 MB]
Changi Point Beach is a fish nursery!
There is not much information on fish ecology of shallow coastal habitats in Singapore. This study shows that although impacted, Changi Point Beach appears to be a nursery area and supports a large diversity of fish species. 75 fish species from 45 families were found here, a larger number than other similar coastal habitats in Singapore. This includes several species which are economically important as a food resource. The study concludes that Changi Point Beach should be conserved because habitats there still perform important ecological functions. Appropriate coastal management is suggested to prevent further habitat degradation. Read more "Diel variations and diversity of fish communities along the unreclaimed shallow coastal habitats of Changi Point Beach, Singapore." J. T. B. Kwik , P. Z. Chen, P. K. L. Ng and T. M. Sin. Pp. 125-135. [pdf, 156 KB]

What fishes were in the Singapore River before the Marina Barrage came into effect?
And how will the fishes be affected by the increasingly fresh water?
A survey in 2005 found 139 fishes in 57 families. The study also provided a list of possible fishes that would survive in freshwater without access to the sea. Read more "Fishes of the Marina Basin, Singapore, before the erection of the Marina Barrage." Tan Heok Hui, Martyn E. Y. Low and Kelvin Lim Kok Peng. Pp. 137-144. [pdf, 67.0 KB]

Other papers on Singapore flora and fauna include
  • Castelnau’s collection of Singapore fishes described by Pieter Bleeker. Barry C. Russell , Thomas H. Fraser and Helen K. Larson. Pp. 93-102. [pdf, 440 KB]
  • Population assessment methods for the Sunda Colugo Galeopterus variegatus (Mammalia: Dermoptera) in tropical forests and their viability in Singapore. Norman T-L. Lim and Peter K. L. Ng. Pp. 157-164. [pdf, 237 KB]
  • Intraspecific interactions Asemonea tenuipes, a lyssomanine jumping spider (Araneae: Salticidae) from Singapore. Yilin Tay and Daiqin Li. Pp. 113-124. [pdf, 590 KB]
You can download all the papers from the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research website! RBZ 58(1): 1–172. 28 February 2010.


  1. We will probably have to study every cerithiid snail shell if we are to find such a shrimp in Singapore! *faints*

  2. Excellent job as usual, Ria! Nice round up.



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