23 September 2013
Pulau Hantu check up
Hurray! The Fluted giant clams (Tridacna squamosa) that Kwan Siong first spotted at Pulau Hantu is still there.
We had started to see many of these Fluted giant clams on our last trip to Pulau Hantu in May 2013. I couldn't find the others because the tide wasn't very low today. There are other big molluscs on Pulau Hantu too. Like the enormous Giant top shell snail (Trochus niloticus). And the endearing Spider conch (Lambis lambis).
Sargassum seaweed (Sargassum sp.) has started to bloom. It's not good to step onto heavy growths of this seaweed as we may damage corals or get hurt by stepping on dangerous animals.
Anemone coral (Goniopora sp.) looked a little too yellow to be healthy.
Lettuce coral (Pavona sp.) seemed to be partially bleaching, as well as one brain corals (Family Mussidae) and one Pore coral (Porites sp.). But most of the corals I saw were alright.
Anchor coral (Family Euphyllidae) and two Cauliflower corals (Pocillopora sp.) were were not bleaching. These two kinds of corals were among the first to bleach during the 2010 global mass coral bleaching event. I didn't see any Crinkled sandpaper coral (Psammocora sp.).
Branching montipora corals (Montipora sp.) and Favid corals (Family Faviidae) and they were mostly alright.
Asparagus flowery soft corals (Family Nephtheidae) were pale or yellowish, but most were their healthy purple colour. I didn't see any leathery soft corals (Family Alcyoniidae) that were bleaching. Various species all looked fine.
Magnificent anemone (Heteractis magnifica) I saw looked a little banged up. It had a pair of anemone shrimps.
Giant carpet anemones (Stichodactyla gigantea) and some of them had large 'Nemo's or False clown anemonefishes (Amphiprion ocellaris). This is good because for a while, we didn't see these fishes in the anemones and I was afraid the fishes were being poached.
some kind of hydroid.
Spionid worms (Family Spionidae) that commonly coat all kinds of sponges.
Perepat trees (Sonneratia alba) on the shore were blooming! After sunset, the white flowers blossomed into fluffy pom poms. I thought I saw some bats flying past, but I didn't see any stopping to feed on the flowers.
mangrove trees that have regenerated naturally on the artificial seawalls of Pulau Hantu. The tree look healthy.
Tape seagrass (Enhalus acoroides) were mostly nice and long, although I did come across several patches with cropped blades. There was not much Spoon seagrasses (Halophila ovalis).
Seagrass seahare (Phyllapsia sp.) that is often seen on Tape seagrasses. They appear to 'clean' large areas of a seagrass blade.
May 2013 in the morning. The low spring tides are now in the evenings. And we had a great sunset, over the living shores of Pulau Hantu that lies just across the petrochemical plants on Pulau Bukom. Today we didn't see any fish traps or nets on the shore.
Hantu Bloggers who conduct guided dives this reef every month!