Today, the tide is very low. It is a minus zero tide! So finally, I get a chance to check out the reef edge on this tiny island. I'm glad to see that there are still a wide variety of sponges growing on the rubble. Although the sponges are not as thickly encrusting as I remember them from the past.
2010. Today, I managed to get a shot of some that were still submerged. They sure do look like some kind of ascidian.
Candelabra sea fans, a few red Skinny sea fans, and a few long white sea whips.
tiny colourful brittle stars (Ophiothela danae)! I only saw the little red ovulid snail on a red sea fan when I processed the photos at home!
False coweries live on flowery soft corals (Family Neptheidae). They actually eat the soft coral. Their shells are plain or have some boring markings.
Boulder sandpaper coral (Psammocora sp.).
Favid coral with tiny rings (Cyphastrea sp.).
Broad zoanthids (Palythoa mutuki).
Haeckel's anemone (Actinostephanus haeckeli). I saw something like this at Chek Jawa in 2009. A little earlier, Sam found a black lump that did look like a retracted Haeckel's anemone. We'll have to deal with this scary look anemone another time.
Swimming anemones (Boloceroides mcmurrichi) on the shore today. Both big ones as well as lots and lots of teeny tiny ones all over the seagrass meadows. The rubbly area was carpeted with Posy anemones.There were also lots of flowery sea pens (Family Veretillidae), Common sea pens (Pteroides sp.) and some Common peacock anemones (Order Ceriantharia). And I saw some very small ball flowery soft corals (Family Nephtheidae).
Chocolate hind (Cephalopolis boenak), a kind of grouper. Also several rabbitfishes (Siganus canaliculatus), Hoplodoris nodulosa and several Spangled emperors (Lethrinus nebulosus). There were of course also lots of other fishes like gobies (Family Gobiidae), but there was just too many other things to pay attention to.
Blue dragon (Pteraeolidia ianthinia), Hoplodoris nodulosa, Discodoris lilacina, Thordisa villosa. The rest of the team saw an amazing number of species. Chay Hoon will as usual, manage the nudi situation. James has already posted lovely photos of a bunch of slugs!
Miliaris cowrie (Cypraea miliaris), I think. The two of them don't look exactly the same in both shell and body pattern. Hmm...
Onyx cowries (Cypraea onyx). This one was suspiciously next to a rather 'clean' sponge. Was it eating the sponge? Among the other molluscs I saw were plenty of Fan shell clams (Family Pinnidae) everywhere.
Biscuit star (Goniodiscaster scaber), several young Cake sea stars (Anthenea aspera) including a bright orange one. Sam found a Spiny sea star (Gymnanthenea laevis) but I forgot to take a photo of it. In the dark, there were some Painted sand stars (Astropecten sp.) and Plain sand star (Astropecten sp.). Marcus found a Crown sea star (Asterina coronata) and also a Knobbly sea star (Protoreaster nodusus) though.
White sea urchins (Salmacis sp.), including some that had bright pink spines. Are they also Salmacis species? I saw some Black sea urchins (Temnopleurus sp.), pink Thorny sea urchin (Prionocidaris sp.) and two huge Long spined black sea urchins (Diadema sp.) which are more commonly seen on our Southern reefs.
Mareta planulata, our first sighting of them in the North.
Blue feather star. We often see this also on Pulau Ubin as well as even Changi.
Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides). But the most abundant species are Spoon seagrasses (Halophila ovalis) . There are also lots of Fern seagrass (Halophila spinulosa). Today I didn't manage to see the Serrated ribbon seagrass (Cymodocea serrulata) that I saw on my last trip.
Haddon's carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni) on Pulau Sekudu. The density seems higher than currently at Chek Jawa. Many carpet anemones were killed during the mass deaths of 2007, and from what I see on Chek Jawa, the numbers do not seem to have returned there since then.
We seldom visit this pretty island nowadays as it is off limits since 2007 and requires special permission from NParks. We were visiting with NParks permission to do a quick survey. Our last survey was in October 2011. Thanks to Alan at NParks for permission to visit and to Chay Hoon for organising the trip! And for the rest of the volunteers for helping to thoroughly survey this small but very rich island.
Posts by others on this trip
- Marcus on facebook with Knobbly sea star, octopus and slugs!
- James on facebook: a huge variety of slugs we saw today! Also on his blog.
- Rene on facebook with slugs and more!
- Chay Hoon on facebook with more slugs, stars and sunrise!
- Sam on facebook with moray eel, butterflyfish and glorious sunrise!
- Mei Lin with more nudis, crusties and other colourful marine life!
- Russel on facebook with MORE sightings of his first trip to Sekudu.
- Jerome on facebook with lots of stars.