Monday, March 30, 2009

The Great Reef- Terumbu Raya

My many firsts today!

My first morning trip of 2009.

My first visit to Terumbu Raya- which is translated as Great Reef. :-)

My first time seeing some critters which I will share with you all later.

I'm glad to visit one more patch reef which I've blogged about previously. Wasn't supposed to come as my thesis is running out of time. But Termubu Raya is just too hard to resist!

It's always a drag to wake up at unearthly hours. The sun only just rose after we reach Terumbu Raya, a patch reef off the intertidal area of Pulau Semakau. The glow and rays from the sunrise was spectacular.

Very soon, light filled the skies and here we are presenting to you Terumbu Raya!

Just upon stepping on this great reef, I saw the my first Fire anemone (Actinodendron sp.). Like fireworms as the name suggest, you won't want to touch them.

I like the white lines radiating outwards on its oral disk.

I showed the fire anemone to Alicia and Stephen and they pointed out the octopus just beside the anemone! I was probably just too engrossed with the fire anemone.

Alicia had a keen eye and she spotted several creatures. She later showed me this bluish green thing that looks like seaweed. Wonder what is its species.

Low tide timing was short. For today, I focused on the reef edge.

I was stunned to see a huge array of coral reef. What amazes me is the clear water. I could see the edge and reef slope pretty clear. I am really very tempted to dive or snorkel!

Chay Hoon says that her dive at Hantu yesterday was an incredible 10m visibility!

There were several sponges that should be barrel sponges.

I heard that the Neptune's cup sponge has not been recorded in Singapore for a long time. So therefore, these should be barrel sponges. But this one was quite big, about 20cm in diameter.

There are also other orange sponges that is more horn-shaped like.

Termubu Raya has many types of anemones according to their previous trip.

At the reef edge, the Bubble-tip sea anemone (Entacmea quadricolor) is not difficult to find. This one has a white ring near its tip.

Whereas this one has a green tip. Unfortunately, no associate tomato clownfishes were sighted.

At another part of the reef edge, I found this showy and attractive looking anemone. It just defies my concept of anemones as it is neon yellow and pink!

A closer look reveals that it is a Pizza anemone (Cryptodendrum adhaesivum). I don't think such a bright pizza anemone has been seen before.

Another anemone that I've spotted is this wriggly sea anemone that we still don't know its identification. While photographing this anemone, my eyesight became macro for a moment...

and I saw this tiny 1-cm nudibranch! My first time seeing this Chromodoris Fidelis which is usually only sighted during dives.

Terumbu Raya is a great place for nudibranch and I later saw this Phyllid nudibranch (Phyllidiella pustulosa). The blue colour is nice.

Chay Hoon spotted this commonly sighted Polka-dot nudibranch (Jorunna funebris) which is also known as the oreo slug.

Soon, Chay Hoon found for me yet another special find! Another of my first time! This is a Ceratosoma Gracillimum that is also yet usually only sighted during dives. November saw in during her previous trip and I'm so glad not to miss it this time.

It looks like it has wings and want to fly away anytime. Hehe.

This endearing nudibranch has pretty details to look out for like its rhinophores and its gills.

There were a couple of flatworms that I've spotted including the Blue-lined flatworm (probably Pseudoceros sp.) and also this greenish one that I've never seen before. It looks like a leaf slug. Sadly, half of its body is missing. But it can still swim gracefully.

Chay Hoon also saw this really huge flounder at the bottom of the deep reef edge. Too bad I stirred up sediments so no clear photos.

The only sad part about Terumbu Raya is no sea stars sighted till now. :(

There are still a couple of echinoderms around as consolation.

Like this stonefish sea cucumber that is really big.

And this stunning red feather star that Chay Hoon again found.

Well, Terumbu Raya lives up to its name! It is indeed a great submerged reef that most Singaporeans don't know about it unfortunately. It's at our very own backyard.

This spectacular reef has many different kinds of corals which will require some time for me to write a post out of it, given my limited coral knowledge.

I have to get going with my thesis and will try to find time later to writeup the second half of today's fantastic reef experience.


Hen said...


Unknown said...

Wow! What an amazing trip! I'm jealous...especially all those nudi's!

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