Cone snails (Family Conidae) are venomous and their toxins can be fatal to humans! Here's a great video clip of how the cone snail hunts (lies in ambush buried in sand) and shoots a harpoon tipped with a cocktail of toxins for which there is no antidote, and swallows fishes whole. The snail is featured among the 6 Deadliest Creatures (That Can Fit In Your Shoe) by Fitzgerald Smith which has a rather graphic description of the effects of the venom on humans. Thank goodness for Russel (and his friends around him at the time), he didn't get harpooned by the snail.
The cone snail on the underside has a narrow shell opening and a narrow foot. This is Conus
Olive snails (Oliva miniacea) which so far, I've only seen on Cyrene. These harmless snails may be mistaken for Cone snails, but you can see that the shell is more bullet-shaped rather than shaped like an ice-cream cone. But if you are not sure, it's best not to handle any live snails that are conical!!
Eggwhite moon snails (Polinices albumen). We also found some strange bivalves and a few other snails that we don't commonly see.
Pygmy squid (Idiosepius sp.) with green stuff in its belly. Did it just eat a green shrimp or something?
Pore coral (Porites sp.) and they all seemed fine.
Favid corals (Family Faviidae), some of them large colonies. Most seemed alright athough some had dead patches.
Cauliflower corals (Pocillopora sp.) and one Anemone coral (Goniopora sp.), both seemed alright.
leathery soft corals (Family Alcyoniidae) and none of them were bleaching. There was one with the upperside covered in a 'skin' that was peeling off. Another colony had a layer of black layer on the underside.
Asparagus flowery soft corals (Nephthea sp.) that I saw had pale yellowish tips (instead of being all purple). But the situation is certainly not as bad as what I saw here during the global mass bleaching event in 2010.
middle of the industrial triangle next to shipping lanes heavily used by large container ships, this amazing submerged reefs has among the best seagrass meadows in Singapore. The seagrass meadows in some parts are still lush with patches of Bryopsis seaweeds (Bryopsis sp.).
Noodle seagrass (Syringodium isoetifolium) seem to be doing the best among the various species found here. They were plentiful, nice and green, not chomped or bleaching and not covered in epiphytes.
Haddon's carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni) in the seagrass meadows but all of them were small. I saw a small Snaky sea anemone (Macrodactyla doreensis) on the sand bar! There were also lots of tiny Swimming anemones (Boloceroides mcmurrichi) everywhere.
cerianthids (Order Ceriantharia) in the seagrass meadows.
Slender sea pen (Virgularia sp.) at Cyrene. Although commonly seen on our Northern shores, this is my first time seeing it on Cyrene. The water is much clearer here so I managed to take a close up of the polyps that form this colonial animal.
Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides)growing in the rubbly areas, where there is now a thick bloom of Bryopsis seaweed. I also saw a variety of seaweeds today, with many Caulerpa species. Alas, I couldn't spot any slugs among them.
Serrated ribbon seagrass (Cymodocea serrulata) bleaching.
Knobbly sea stars (Protoreaster nodosus) on this shore but they seemed to have moved westward. Perhaps this is because the centre part of Cyrene is becoming much sandier and lacking in seagrasses? None of us saw any baby Knobbly sea stars today.
Pentaceraster sea star (Pentaceraster mammilatus) which seems to be the same one we see on Cyrene and growing slightly bigger everytime we meet. There are still many Common sea stars (Archaster typicus). Though there are still some Cake sand dollars (Arachoides placenta), they seem less plentiful. Mei Lin says perhaps that's why she only saw one Grey bonnet snail (Phalium glaucum) today.
Posts by others on this trip
- A LIVING Cone Snail on Cyrene Reefs! by Mei Lin.
- Cone snail (Conus magnus) by Russel Low on facebook with more in Cyrene Aug 2013
- First living sighting of the deadly cone snail at Cyrene by Kok Sheng
- New surprises at Cyrene Reef with Large seastar and Cone snail by Pei Yan
- Photos of Cyrene by Geraldine on facebook