Saturday, February 9, 2008

Hantu's splendour

I have been to Pulau Hantu once before and that was an unforgetable trip as it was when I saw many marine creatures for the first time. Finally got a chance to return to this great place. This was made possible through Ria's CNY invitation. Thanks!


Today's a public holiday mainly celebrated by Chinese, so the Malays come to this island to enjoy a relaxing picnic life.


As for us, we headed straight to the lagoon when the tide was low. At the high shore, our first discovery (like how July describes in his discovery blog) was many of the common sea stars (Archaster typicus).


We saw a couple of this polka-dot nudibranch (Jorunna funebris) at the coral reef area of the western lagoon. Don't you think they look really cute?


Though not as attractive, let's not forget about the tiny top shell with a turban shell among the rocks.


Corals are aplenty at Hantu and this soft coral is so huge, you just have to compare with the small looking boulder of hard coral at the left bottom side.


Hard corals are also gorgeous too!


This fiddler crab was obedient, apparently I displaced it from its hole so I think it's a bit disoriented. Nevertheless, it stayed there for us to take photo of this cute tiny crab.


Low tide time is also feeding time for the birds. We found this Great-billed Heron (Ardea sumatrana). From the top right corner photo, you can see the fish in its beak!


These greenish looking things are not seagrasses, they are ascidians all over the sand area.


Soft coral and Gigantea sea anemone live side by side.


And there's a surprise in that anemone if you notice closer. There's a resident nemo!


Ron was excited when he found this huge nudibranch which is likely to be
Dendrodoris tuberculosa. Ron even told me it's one of the largest nudibranch in the world with records up to 25cm! Wow, what a great find.


According to the sea slug forum, this large, strongly tuberculate dendrodorid is easily identified by the colour of the underside of the mantle, which has a background colour ranging from pale greenish or yellowish brown to dark brown with large round white spots.

Though a more common nudibranch, I was very excited to see this Gymnodoris rubropapulosa. Don't you think the orange dots are so cute?

More nudibranch and flatworms. The only nudibranch is on top right, its bohol nudibranch (Discodoris boholensis).

The corallimorph at Hantu are pretty. These guys are also known as 'mushroom anemones' but they are not anemones. This is a very unique group of corals which is more closely related to zoanthids & stony corals than soft corals.

This one then is an anemone! It's my first time seeing the Pizza Anemone (Cryptodendrum adhaesivum). With a bit of imagination, it does look a bit like a pizza with the brown part resembling the crust.

A closer look at the pizza anemone with a white body as shown on left with yellow dots. You can also notice the brown and green tentacles of this pizza anemone.

More anemones, this one I don't know what is it.

The Heteractis magnifica anemones are still doing okay at the lagoon.

This featherstar is in pale yellow and tiny but it's really beautiful.

More crinoids. This stunning featherstar comes in black and white. Crinoids usually have a stem used to attach themselves to a substrate.

This octopus is very colourful, don't you think?

Ivan found this synaptic sea cucumber.

And I saw this transparent blob and found it weird. Upon closer examinations, realized its a jellyfish! Can you see a few tentacles from the inner ring circumference?

A small group photo of us out there! :-)

3 comments:

totoro said...

Hi Kok Sheng,

This is Vanessa, a student from NUS. I was just wondering if you could contact me, because I'm doing a project on Sungei Punggol and I came across your entry which had lots of good photos that I found interesting.

Do you mind contacting me at u0701986@nus.edu.sg if you are willing to share these photos with us? Credit will be given of course! :)

Thanks very much, hope to hear from you soon :D

Halori said...

Wow, how i wish i am in hantu with you too.
nice pictures!!

koksheng said...

hey alex, there's always next time! Will ask you out. Haha

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