How wonderful to see the Arabian cowrie (Cypraea arabica) on oil-slicked Tanah Merah!
I also came across this hermit crab that doesn't look like those I commonly see. I have no idea what it is.
Reef octopus like the ones we commonly see in good reefs. It was a rather small one and it slithered quickly into a crevice before I could take a good look at it. Marcus also spotted the Discodoris boholiensis nudibranch.
Garlic bread sea cucumbers (Holothuria scabra)! They seemed happy, busy processing seawater.
African sea cucumber (Afrocucumis africana). When I turned over the rock to have a look at it, it ejected the brown stuff.
Zebra sole (Zebrias zebra) again. This flat fish was crawling slowly about on the bottom, with its colourful and boldly patterned tail held upright, while the rest of it was covered in sand. Does the tail attract prey towards it? So much more to learn about our marine life!
Very long sea anemone! My first sighting on Tanah Merah of this large anemone.
Brown egg crabs (Atergatis floridus), several large Red egg crabs (Atergatis integerrimus) and one Maroon stone crab (Menippe rumphii).
Razorfish (Family Centriscidae) and many halfbeaks (Family Hemiramphidae) of all kinds.
gobies (Family Gobiidae) and small Swimming crabs (Family Portunidae) of kinds!
damselfishes (Family Pomacentridae). Most were tiny to small with a few large ones lurking in deep crevices.
Painted scorpionfish (Parascorpaena picta). They are very well camouflaged! Fortunately, neither Marcus nor I saw any Hollow-cheeked stonefish (Synanceia horrida).
Copperband butterflyfish (Chelmon rostratus). There were lots ofCardinalfishes (Family Apogonidae) as well as Bengal sergeants (Abudefduf bengalensis). I saw a small well camouflaged Blenny (Family Blennidae), many , one False scorpionfish (Centrogenys vaigiensis) and several small Chocolate hinds (Cephalopholis boenak).
Brain coral (Family Mussidae) looks very lush, but I'm not sure if this colour is normal. I haven't seen other Brain corals with this kind of coloration.
Bracket mushroom coral (Podabacia sp.) was still there and alright, although the windy conditions made it difficult for me to take a good photo of it. I saw a smaller Bracket mushroom coral too. As well as several Circular mushroom coral (Family Fungiidae), still stuck on rocks.
Brain coral (Family Mussidae), two colonies of Anemone corals (Goniopora sp.) and many tiny to small colonies of Flowery disk coral (Turbinaria sp.), as well as a small Carnation coral (Pectinia sp.). I missed seeing some of the special corals I saw in April 2012, but perhaps I just missed them in the dark.
Pore corals (Porites sp.) seemed alright and there were many smaller colonies everywhere. I didn't see any bleaching like I did in April 2012.
Favid corals (Family Faviidae). At night, they are particularly colourful, many with their polyps and tentacles fully extended. How lovely! There were still many patches of Zebra coral (Oulastrea crispata).
Button zoanthids (Zoanthus sp.), one large colony of Sea mat zoanthids (Palythoa tuberculosa) , while the pile of Leathery soft coral (Family Alcyoniidae) seems to be doing very well! Marcus also saw the Ball-tip corallimorph (Order Corallimorpharia).
cerianthids (Order Ceriantharia) too.
elbow crab (Family Parthenopidae), a goby and tiny red shrimps.
Giant carpet anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea). It settled on the seawall. Marcus saw a few Haddon's carpet anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni) too.
Swimming anemone (Boloceroides mcmurrichi) and many Frilly sea anemones (Phymanthus sp.).
squids (Family Loliginidae) in the lagoon, leaving ink blobs in the water. This one hovered quietly in the water to let me take a photo of it. A very large one actually bumped into my knee! I got a shock and probably so did the squid!
Red-nose shrimps (Periclimenes sp.) glitter all around the rocks. Marcus also saw Saron shrimps (Family Hippolytidae).
Blue tail prawns (Family Penaeidae). For the first time though, I also saw many Banded prawns too.
whelks (Family Nassaridae), many of which were carrying living sea anemone hitch-hiking on their shells!
Common sea stars (Archaster typicus). But perhaps they are lurking some other part of this vast lagoon. Difficult to spot them in the dark.
Blue jorunna sponge (Neopetrosia sp.), and some Melted chocolate sponge (Chondrilla australiensis). There were also some Thumbs up sea squirts (Polycarpa sp.).
Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis) near the rocky area in the centre of the lagoon. The leaf blades are heavily covered in epiphytes. But the meadows are full of life. There were many Gong-gong snails (Strombus turturella), some in clusters, perhaps getting ready to mate and lay eggs? I also saw many many Oval moon snails (Polinices mammila).
Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides). There wasn't much seaweed on the shore today, mostly Sea letuce seaweed (Ulva reticulata).
More about the oil spill on this blog and on the Oil spill facebook page.
Marcus has some great photos of this trip too.