Sunday, October 11, 2009

Finally Saron at Tanah Merah

Finally finally and finally, I managed to to see Saron shrimp (Family Hippolytidae) at Tanah Merah! Yes, James and I brought a group of friends to the shores yesterday. The tide wasn't that low but good enough to find lots of fascinating marine life.

This Saron shrimp was spotted among the rocks. It is just so gorgeous looking! The colours and patterns on this shrimp is amazingly cool. Probably the prettiest shrimp that I've ever seen.

Saron shrimps are super shy and this creature immediately tried to hide after realizing my presence. It gave me a look from its front before sliding back into the dark crevices of the rock. Hehe.

I was flipping rocks trying to find some other marine life and this reddish Saron shrimp was spotted on the underneath of the rock! Wow. With some help from James, we managed to place this shrimp on a tide pool to take a closer look.

The body of the Saron shrimp is very pretty with several spots and colours. There are some feathery appendages or cirri tufts coming out from the crustacean's shell.

In addition, their legs have alternating black white bands. The Saron Shrimp is known to be nocturnal. At night, their body colour turns primarily red, which helps it blend into the shadows of the twilight.

Enough of Saron shrimps, though I'll never get bored probably of them, here's another shrimp. This unidentified brightly-coloured Red shrimp is much much smaller, about 1cm in length.

At the base of the Solitary fan green seaweed (Avrainvillea erecta), macro-sharp eyed James found two slugs! And they are so super tiny, of about 0.5cm in length! But this one looks so cute. Ginny said it looks like a strawberry because of its pink spots.

Another slug found at the same base will be this one without the pink spots. It looks like a different species.

I'm amazed that ever since Chay Hoon started looking hard at seaweed, we are beginning to take time and see more and more of these incredibly small yet interesting slugs! Thanks James again for the finds.

While walking, I saw this Lima file clam (Lima lima) swimming about! It has been a long long time I've seen this clam on our shores.

And they are super active, making itself very entertaining as it swims about.

Siyang was with us, and as usual, he also found lots of wonderful animals like this Orange-edged black flatworm (Pseudobiceros uniarborensis).

Later on, he shouted to us that there's stingray! It definitely sends shivers down our spine. Look at this! This Blue-spotted fantail ray (Taeniura lymma) is super well camouflaged when semi-buried in the sand. Who knows when one will unfortunately step on it.... we definitely have to walk gently.

Siyang also saw this huge sea cucumber that looks like the Pink spotted sea cucumber. It's a new record for Tanah Merah and I've only seen this previously at Semakau and Sisters Island before.

Last but not least, the last Siyang-find to be featured here will be this special snail, the Dolphin snail (Angaria delphinus).

Towards the end of the trip, I spotted this Ornate leaf slug (Elysia ornata). They are believed to eat the Hairy green seaweed (Bryopsis sp.) which is what this leaf slug here is probably doing. Haha.

We all were excited when we came across the big patch of Common sea stars (Archaster typicus) that the team saw also on Thursday.

The seawall rocks are great substrates for coral recruitment to take place and among the many different corals sighted, here's the Anemone coral (Goniopora sp.).

And it's heartening to see young recruits of the circular mushroom coral (Family Fungidae) attached to the rock. When they grow bigger, they will be free and unattached to anything as solitary corals.

Tanah Merah is a definite place for squids! Everyone on the trip were having fun spotting these squids swimming by.

And of course lots of fishes as usual! :) One of the more special ones will be this twisting-looking fish that Ria has seen before previously as well. It seems to be naturally swimming with its head down.

To end off, here's a large Streaked rabbitfish (Siganus javus). These fishes are caught by fishermen to be sold as food for our dining table.

It has been great to share with my friends about Tanah Merah. Depsite being reclaimed, it is super alive and is fast becoming one of my favourite shores. Thank God for the wind that night, if not we will be itching all over with the swarming sandflies.

More of the trip's finds with great photos at James' blog.

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