Saturday, June 30, 2007

A "basket" of surprise

Today we were at Sister's Island early in the morning, before the sun rises. Ron, Helen, July and I went over to the small lagoon to recce for common seastars while the others went straight to the bigger one first. The small lagoon has a lot of sandflies... Good thing July brought along insect repellent. Thanks!

From top left to bottom right: The land hermit crab is actually one of the threatened species in Singapore. Good that we can still see them at Sisters. The second photo I dont know what fish, but the 3rd one is the halfbeak where its upper jaw is much shorter than its lower jaw. The last photo is the snapping shrimp spotted by Helen.

Though carpet anemones are few, but I'm heartened to see this pair of anemone shrimp on one of the carpet anemones found.

This fish is really fun to play. When it sees you, it will bury itself into sand only with eyes sticking out as seen above at left side. When you disturb it a bit, it will come out like on the right side.

July pointed out this family of black sea cucumber... first time seeing many in one spot.

I think how these zoathids clump together can be pretty interesting.

It's the crabby part again! Here we found the red egg crab, grapsus crab, decorator crab and the swimming crab. First time seeing the decorator crab, it likes to decorate itself with sponges, seaweed etc to conceal from predators.

Ron found a blue spotted stingray.

Helen found this stealth toadfish in the lagoon...hehe.

How can a trip to Sisters be without flatworms. Though Sisters today is not as exciting as before which is cause of worry, glad to still be able to see this.

I was looking at the unknown sea cucumber as like the left photo. If you spot further, you might see what I saw. A pair of eyes belonging to a green fish. That was the best shot I could get.

The sun rises. Though not spectacular due to cloudy weather, it's still breath taking. The city lights are at the background.

Octopuses are quite common too and they are pretty interesting because they can change colours to blend into the surrounding.

WOW find of the day! Chay Hoon was so excited when she found it that she shouted "Basket seastar". I was wondering what on earth is that?? Simply because I dont know what it is. It is a seastar, can you see the five arms emerging from a central disk?

What is amazing is that from what I heard, basket seastars were last found in Singapore at 1896. Here is the one found then, dredged off St John Island. Now it is standing at Raffles Museum.

The other wow find especially for me must be this false clownfish or commonly known as nemo. It's my FIRST time seeing it and I've been longing to see it in the wild. To my orientation group who is named Finding nemo, I would like to say, found!

How can we forget the different variety of corals that reside at Sisters?

July had a great time with this bohol nudibranch (Discodoris boholensis). Because its called DISCOdoris, we were trying to view this nudibranch through the discos of water waves etc and other lame manners I have forgotten thankfully. Haaha.

Chay Hoon spotted another great find which is this smasher mantis shrimp. It has clubs to whack and stun predators. I will most likely miss finding it because it looks green like seaweed from top.

After a hearty breakfast, we waited at the jetty for the bumboat to fetch us back. And we were wondering what are these orange thingy? Nudibranch? Zoathids? Really curious.

This is the smaller sisters Island that I've not visited before, hopefully sometime soon. Byebye!


~*wLin*~ said...

yeah you found nemo!!!

anyway jus like to say that i like reading your blog. makes me realise how beautiful nature is and there are ppl putting in effort to conserve wildlife. keep blogging cos it's always a pleasure to read your blog after a tiring workday. =)

Unknown said...

thanks for the encouragement to keep this blog running :-)

see you around weilin

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