07 February 2013

Wild facts updates: Slugs, sharks, crabs and more

Singapore has a bewildering variety of marine life! Here's new fact sheets on some slugs that can be found right here on our own shores.
Also, sharks and more crabs!

I finally got around to doing fact sheets of the above slugs, mostly seen by other fellow shore explorers. These include: Slender ceratosoma nudibranch (Ceratosoma gracillimum), Paper bubble snail (Hydatina sp.), 'Attap chee' slug (Philine orientalis),  Emerald slug (Stiliger smaragdinus), Yellow-spotted gymnodoris (Gymnodoris sp.), Phyllodesmium nudibranch (Phyllodesmium briareum).

Singapore has wild sharks! All kinds of sharks! Thanks to photos shared by friends including divers with the Hantu Bloggers, here's a small selection of some of the sharks seen in our waters.
We came across this dead shark on Pulau Semakau while we were doing abandoned driftnet removal. We have no idea why it died. There wasn't a mark on it. But on a happier note, we regularly encounter live sharks on our submerged reefs!
These large snake-like snake-eels (Family Ophichthidae) were seen in numbers at night at Pasir Ris Park mangroves. The boardwalk there is easy to access and the only one allowing us to explore the mangrove at night. This fish is NOT a moray eel which belong to Family Muraenidae. I'll work on finding out what it is exactly.
I've started fact sheets on some of these crabs that I think I've figured out: Rosy fiddler crab (Uca rosea), Lumpy rock crab (Euxanthus exsculptus), Smooth spooner crab (Etisus laevimanus), Pimply Sally-light-foot crab (Plagusia squamosa).
Also: Crucifix swimming crab (Charybdis feriatus), Powder blue-clawed swimming crab (Thalamita crenata), Ridged swimming crab (Charybdis natator), Saw-edged spooner crab (Etisus utilis). Please do let me know if I got any of the IDs wrong.
I've sorted out those that might be Rock crabs (Leptodius sp.).
I also think I've figured out this pretty little whelk which is quite abundant on East Coast Park's artificial shores: Lined whelk (Nassarius teretiusculus).
Seaweeds may seem boring but they provide shelter and food for all kinds of animals including our beloved slugs. Here's some seaweeds that I recently figured out (I think): Pleated fan green seaweed (Rhipidosiphon javensis) and Scaly red seaweed (Peyssonnelia sp.).
These colourful Giant shield bugs (Pycanum sp.) are often seen on  Simpoh air (Dillenia suffruticosa) which they are believed to feed on.
I've also worked very hard to update fact sheets for mangroves and seaweeds so they now have a slide show of big photos and a nice map widget showing the locations of the photos. Still a lot more to do!
Please do let me know if I got any of the identifications wrong! More wild fact sheets.

It's a slow struggle to keep up with documentation of our shores. But I'll try to keep on going, as newly revealed plans suggest some of our best shores might not be around for long.

Do try to see our shores for yourself before these are lost to development. More details how to visit some shores and what to see and do on wildsingapore. Lots of nature and seashore activities are also updated weekly on wildsingapore happenings. Keep up with news about nature in Singapore and beyond, updated daily on wildsingapore news.

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