Kok Sheng spotted a huge sting ray zooming out as we headed for the reef. Later on, I saw a shark chasing leaping fishes but it was too far to photograph in the dark. Chay Hoon later saw a cute baby Bamboo shark and took a great video clip of it!
There were lots of other fishes too, like this intriguing Burrowing snake eel (Pisodonophis crancrivorous). This fish is not a true eel and distinguished from true eels by its rather comical tiny circular fins near the head.
octopuses. Though they are often not very easy to spot. Can you find the octopus in this photo?
Acropora corals (Acropora sp.) are home to several tiny blue-eyed coral crabs (Cymo andreossyi), as well as lots of tiny coral clams (Pedum spondyloideum)! These animals are superbly camouflaged in their coral home.
Pore coral (Porites sp.) can have many tiny animals. On the right photo among the tiny flower-like polyps of the coral are tiny brown patches which are acoel flatworms, and banded feathery filaments of possibly a coral barnacle that has burrowed into the coral. Most of the corals on the reef seemed alright and I didn't see any signs of coral bleaching on this trip.
Alicia sea anemone (Alicia sp.). It looks rather innocent when the tentacles are retracted, just another boring thing on the reef.
Neon sea anemone? Or a small Bubble tip anemone (Entacmea quadricolor).
Magnificent anemone (Heteractis magnifica). I saw one with a pair of anemone shrimps (Periclimenes brevicarpalis). The female is larger with larger white spots, while the slender male is more transparent. The tide was still high so the 'Nemo's or False clown anemonefish (Amphiprion ocellaris) were well hidden under the sea anemones. Their presence marked by sudden and rapid wiggles among the tentacles.
Glossodoris atromarginata today. I didn't see any other nudibranchs, but Kok Sheng found a special one.
whelk (Family Nassaridae) that I've not seen before. I'm not too sure what it might be. Kok Sheng also found a Fluted giant clam (Tridacna squamosa)!
Montipora corals (Montipora sp.) I saw on my last trip here in Nov 2011 are still there.
June 2010. The seagrass meadows became sparse when we visited in March 2011 and they have not recovered since then.
There were some Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides) that were long, especially among the rubbly and reefy area. But those in the sandy areas were shorter or curled up. Most were heavily covered in epiphytes.
Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis), with a sprinkling of long Serrated ribbon seagrass (Cymodocea serrulata) or Sickle seagrass (Thalassia hemprichii). I sense the situation is about the same as when I last visited this submerged reef in Nov 2012.
Shell briefing on this in Sep 2012.
|Click on image for larger view.|
Mega Marine Survey's upcoming Southern Expedition in May. It also helps to have experienced people like Alex and Jumari to take us to the right spot!
Tomorrow, one more early morning recce trip and then straight into the first day of the Bryozoan and Hydroid Workshop! It's going to be a very long week for me.