Monday, June 22, 2009

Electric ray at Changi!

Yes, an electric ray was found this morning at Changi by Ria!

The electric ray is also known as the Numbfish (Narcine sp.). It was only sighted twice before in our shores, first by Cheng Puay at Chek Jawa in 2004 and then by Ria at Changi in 2005. We were all excited to see this special ray again today! It was electrifying enough to keep us awake for today's 2am sleepy hour field trip.

As their name suggests, electric rays use their electric power to stun fishes that they eat. Some shallow water species spend most of their time buried in the sand with only their nostrils visible.

Though this ray is not an electric ray, the Blue-spotted stingray (Dasyatis kuhlii) is also no joke too because when stepped on, their spine on the tail can inject a piercing wound that injects venom to the victim. We have enough victims or brush shaves for the last months with regards to stingray accidents and will definitely pay more attention to avoid stepping on these creatures.

With Chay Hoon around, there's always tiny surprises like this tiny Estuarine seahorse (Hippocampus kuda).

She later found another Estuarine seahorse and here's two views of the same seahorse.

Sand stars are common on Changi including this Painted Sand star (Astropecten sp.). The Plain Sand star (Astropecten sp.) can also be sighted.

Other stars of Changi include the Biscuit sea star (Gonodiscaster scaber).

Today was bit weird on the sea cucumber side. The most common sea cucumber species is this still unidentified sea cucumber that we rarely see at Changi. But today, they were literally everywhere! Is it a seasonal thing?

Another unknown sea cucumber is this one that was found by Chay Hoon. We've not seen this before either. Changi never fails to surprise us with new creatures despite visiting the shores for umpteen times already.

There were several sea pens and I particularly like this pinkish Flowery sea pen (Family Veretillidae). Like corals, each sea pen is a colony of polyps. A polyp which branches out from the stem is an individual animal.

Among the seagrasses are different types of sea anemones including this Swimming anemone (Boloceroides mcmurrichi). As their name suggests, swimming anemones can swim slowly by undulating its many tentacles in a coordinated manner.

James later found a yellowish swimming anemone that looks prettier than the common ones we always encounter.

Other than anemones, the seagrasses and seaweed are great hiding places for shrimps and prawns like this Penaeid prawn (Family Penaeidae).

There were a number of wonderful snail finds including this huge noble volute (Cymbiola nobilis).

Another huge snail will be this bailer volute (Melo melo) that unfortunately is very rare in mainland Singapore because of overcollection of this snail for food. The only place we see this handsome snail in good numbers is in the much more inaccessible Beting Bronok.

Unlike the above two huge snails, this Olive snail (Family Olividae) is small like a bullet size but we have not seen one with a pattern like this before.

Last but not least, there are beautiful crabs like this Reticulated moon crab (Matuta planipes)

And more moon crabs of other species.

Sadly, I still am bad at identifying moon crabs and don't know how to differentiate the Spotted moon crab (Ashtoret lunaris) and the Victorious moon crab (Matuta victor).

Last but not least, the most special crabby find will be this yet also unidentified box crab.

Changi is definitely a shore that deserves to be visited again and again and again. Who knows what other surprises are still lurking for us to discover on our next trip.


James K said...

Wow the stingrays are everywhere.

Is that an anemone under the bottom left arm of the sand star?

Unknown said...

Sharp eyes you have! Yes it is the peachia anemone.

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