Among the 'reefiest' shores on the mainland, I had a quick look at this stretch of Tanah Merah that was hit by the oil spill nearly two years ago. There were lots of different kinds of hard corals!
Bracket mushroom coral topped with a fan worm, with a large Copperband butterflyfish (Chelmon rostratus) hiding under it.
This is amazing! I think it's a Cabbage coral (Trachyphyllia geoffroyi) that I rarely come across. At first I thought it was another brain coral.
mushroom coral (Family Fungiidae), a well formed blue Ringed plate coral, a tiny Carnation coral (Pectinia sp.) and a nicely growing colony of encrusting plate montipora coral (Montipora sp.).
Cauliflower coral (Pocillopora sp.) colony, my first time seeing it on Tanah Merah. And three well formed Brain coral (Family Mussidae) colonies. These finds almost made up for the fact that I couldn't find the Acropora coral (Acropora sp.) colony.
Anemone corals (Goniopora sp.) colonies (top row) and many small Flowery disk coral (Turbinaria sp.) colonies, all of them seemed fine.
Favid corals (Family Faviidae) remain the most common hard coral that I saw today. There were many patches of Zebra coral (Oulastrea crispata), and many small to large colonies of other Favid corals in various colours and patterns.
Pore corals (Porites sp.) had bleached portions or were rather white.
leathery soft coral (Family Alcyoniidae) is still large!
Frilly sea anemones (Phymanthus sp.) when usually I would only see one or two. I also saw one Swimming anemone (Boloceroides mcmurrichi) and near the seawall, one Haddon's carpet anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni) with a pair of Five-spot anemone shrimps (Periclimenes brevicarpalis). I couldn't find a single Haddon's carpet anemone on the higher rocky area. One my last trip here in February, I saw about ten of them. Oh dear. I wonder what happened to them.
Common cerianthids (Order Ceriantharia).
Ball tip corallimorphs which are not true sea anemones.
Button zoanthids (Zoanthus sp.), two small colonies of Sea mat zoanthids (Palythoa tuberculosa) and one small colony of Broad zoanthids (Palythoa mutuki).
Cardinalfishes (Family Apogonidae) and gobies (Family Gobiidae) and other fishes that I have yet to figure out.
damselfishes (Family Pomacentridae). There were also lots of cardinalfishes (Family Apogonidae) and small striped Bengal sergeants (Abudefduf bengalensis). I also saw the nose tip of one Brown-spotted moray eel (Gymnothorax reevesii) hiding in its burrow.
Hollow-cheeked stonefish (Synanceia horrida). Can you see him?
Painted scorpionfish (Parascorpaena picta), which were plentiful today.
Large-tooth flounders (Family Paralichthyidae).
Lined eeltail catfishes (Plotosus lineatus).
Persian carpet flatworms (Pseudobiceros bedfordi)! These animals can swim for a short distance by undulating the edges of their flat bodies.
Green gum drop ascidians, in some areas they were quite thick!
Gong-gong snails (Strombus turturella). I notice they seem to form pairs when the one in the front is laying her tangled string of eggs. I saw many of these tangled strings on the shore today.
Black lipped conch (Strombus urceus), some of them were also in pairs. Also many Oval moon snails (Polinices mammila), living Fan clams (Family Pinnidae), Common whelks (Nassarius livescens). Bazillion snails (Batillaria zonalis) only covered a small part of the rockier areas. I also saw an empty Fig snail shell (Ficus variegata).
Common sea stars (Archaster typicus) on the sandy stretches. There were signs of birds large and small, hunting on the shore.
Sand dollars (Arachnoides placenta)!
Mud crab (Scylla sp.), also many fanworms, the Pink puff ball sponge (Oceanapia sagittaria) and a little brittlestar. There were lots of Swimming crabs (Family Portunidae) of all kinds with a lot of small to medium-sized Flower crabs (Portunus pelagicus).
Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis), with tiny leaf blades and heavily covered in epiphytes. Besides the usual one small patch of Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides) in deeper water, I came across a larger patch of them further away. How nice! The most abundant seaweed today was Mermaid's fan (Padina sp.) as well as Knobbly red seaweed (Gracilaria salicornia). I saw a few clumps of Sargassum seaweed (Sargassum sp.) and some tiny patches of other kinds of seaweeds.
More details. Bravo for ICCS!
on this blog and on the Oil spill facebook page.