This beautiful seahorse is so well camouflaged among the Sargassum seaweed!
Here's a clearer (sort of) view of the seahorse. Unlike the Estuarine seahorse (Hippocampus kuda) I saw on the same shore in October, I think this one is the Tiger-tailed seahorse (Hippocampus comes)! It looks rather young.
Another less happy encounter is with Mr Stonefish. The Hollow-cheeked stonefish (Synanceia horrida) used to be and appears to still be quite common on this shore. Today, Mr Stonefish is half buried in the sand with his eyes and frowning mouth, and the business end of his spines sticking out, ready for the unsuspecting foot.
Chequered cardinalfish (Apogon margaritophorus) stayed quite still for a while.
Haddon's carpet anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni) with TWO anemone shrimps (Periclimenes brevicarpalis). In previous trips I usually only saw one anemone shrimp. Mr Shrimp is smaller, more transparent with fewer white spots, while Mrs Shrimp is fatter and has more white spots.
Another special crusty find for me was this special hermit crab! I saw it once at Tanah Merah before the oil spill. This hermit crab has been kindly identified by liwaliw as Clibanarius cruentatus.
Stone crab (Myomenippe hardwicki) under a basket! There were many tiny Tidal hermit crabs (Diogenes sp.) and a few Striped hermit crabs (Clibanarius sp.) and most of them were rather small. There were many tiny swimming crabs (Family Portunidae) in the water, most were Flower crabs (Portunus pelagicus).
Common sea stars (Archaster typicus). There were quite a few of them on the shore, I saw at least 10 of them and they were of a good size, seemed unharmed without any injured body parts, and quite active especially near sunset.
Family Eulimidae) that lives on the poor Common sea star. The snail actually sucks up the sea star's body fluids. Oh dear. This is why, Dr Lane explains, many sea stars have tiny pinching structures on their body surface to get rid of such annoying beasts.
ascidians found under the rock, eating them?
fanworms (Family Sabellidae), both the brown banded ones and the orange ones.
Acorn worms (Class Enteropneusta) on various parts of the shore. The coils of 'processed' sand are clean! There were also many busy shorebirds foraging on the shore.
Black-lipped conch (Strombus urceus) and many young Gong-gong (Strombus turturella) which have yet to develop the thick 'lips' on the shell. On the rocky areas, Dr Lane found a strange pretty limpet.
Fan clams (Family Pinnidae), and I saw a few clams on the rocks which were very much alive. I think the two on the lower row might be Thorny oysters (Spondylus sp.).
Circular mushroom corals (Family Fungiidae), and another small colony that might be some kind of Disk coral (Turbinaria sp.). Zebra corals (Oulastrea crispata) remain quite common on the seawalls.Favid corals (Family Faviidae).
Pore corals (Porites sp.).. Most seemed alright.
Frilly sea anemone (Phymanthus sp.) , and one large colony of Button zoanthids (Zoanthus sp.).
Smooth ribbon seagrass (Cymodocea rotundata) here. They seemed alright and I get the sense that the area they are covering is actually expanding.
Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides) seems fine. Although the blades seemed rather chomped, they were clear of scummy stuff. I saw another small patch further away. I looked and looked and failed to find the patch of Sickle seagrass (Thalassia hemprichii) that was seen in the past. I fear it is gone. I also didn't see any Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis).Mermaid's fan (Padina sp.), with a few clumps of short strands of Sargassum seaweed (Sargassum sp.). I also saw one large clump of Codium seaweed (Codium sp.).
Today I didn't see many large areas of scum, not the green, white or brown kind. There was some sheen on the water, but not a lot. This Tanah Merah lagoon seems less slicked that the other one nearer the Changi Naval Base.
Despite the wet start at the trip, the weather held and Dr Lane and I had a good trip. Dr Lane is impressed that an artificial shore still has such interesting marine life despite the oil spill. Let's hope the shore will recover soon!
More about the oil spill on this blog and on the Oil spill facebook page.
Later this evening, I'll be checking up on a Changi shore that we have not visited for some time.