28 December 2012

Strange snakey thing at Pasir Ris

Is that a snake?! I was looking out for snakes when this huge long striped thing slid up among the Giant mudskippers with the incoming tide.
The Giant mudskipper is about 15cm long,
so the 'snakey' thing was really long!
On this night trip to Pasir Ris Park, I also spotted all kinds of things that are not often seen during the daytime.

The busy beast was poking its snout into crevices and energetically zig-zagging up the mudflats as the water rushed in. Crabs were already climbing to higher ground precisely to escape such predators.
I think it's a fish, some kind of Snake eel (Family Ophichthidae) because it has a pair of comically tiny fins. The head is huge but the eyes are tiny and at the front (blue arrows). I've never seen anything like this before!
I dropped by the Park at night to catch the night blooming mangrove trees. Finally, I saw a lovely blushing blossom of the Berembang (Sonneratia caseolaris). Wild trees are rare and located in difficult places to reach, but these trees are planted at the Park and very easy to view.
The planted trees have grown very tall! There were lots of fruits and buds and developing fruits.
I stopped by to see some of the other rare mangrove trees planted here. The Gedabu (Sonneratia ovata) had lots of fruits but no blooming flowers. The Tumu berau (Bruguiera sexangula) was not flowering or fruiting. These trees are rare and were planted in the Park.
After looking at the plants, I had a quick look along the boardwalk hoping to see some snakes. At night, the Giant mudskippers (Periophthalmodon schlosseri) look very different! Most of those I saw had their 'pajamas' on, broad bars across their body.
Only a few of the Giant mudskippers had their 'daytime' pattern of two dark stripes along the body.
There were also many small crab busy among the leaves. They are less shy at night and easy to view from the boardwalk.
Also on the leaves, little snails and lots of spiders of all kinds.
On the ground, lots of big tree climbing crabs (Episesarma sp.).
Some of the tree climbing crabs have colourful pincers.
As the tide rushed in, the tree climbing crabs climbed the trees!
I was hoping to see the rare snake that we saw here with Dr Dan on a night trip in Mar 2012. Alas, I didn't see any snakes of any kind. The water was rather murky so hopefully the watersnakes are still there and I just couldn't see them.

Pasir Ris Park's mangrove boardwalk is open 24/7! It's easy to access too. The Naked Hermit Crabs sometimes holds free guided walks for families at this mangrove boardwalk.


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