Sunday, November 8, 2009

Getting high at Hantu

We are high at Hantu: both the tides and human beings. The tides this week haven't been that compliant so we were stuck at the lagoon tonight at Hantu. And it was high for us because there were many surprising finds!

Today's trip started off at 7pm, so it was near darkness all the while except for the petrochemical plants from Bukom just at a stone's throw away.

Being at the high shores of the lagoon during the not-so-low tide, it was an opportunity to have a good look at this part where we usually neglect. And indeed we saw interesting critters like many unusual looking anemones.

This Edwardsiid-looking anemone is one of the many weird nems we came across. It could be something special that Dr Daphne is looking out for.

More weird nems that we do not know what exactly they are.

This one has near transparent tentacles! The oral disk is not transparent though.

As for this nem, its tentacles are super long. And this seemed to sense my presence or the torchlight. It automatically hid within its burrow after I stood there for a while.

Finally, a more familiar anemone. It is my first time seeing the swimming anemone at Hantu.

I seem to find another of the Haekel's anemone (Actinostephanus haekeli)! However, Ria said she couldn't find the original one we saw in May. This could probably be the same individual that moved location.

The ever cute False clown anemonefishes (Amphiprion ocellaris) can be found in a Giant carpet anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea). Can you spot one from this photo? :)

I saw three nemos in total. However, the bigger one is usually the most shy!

Last anemone find was this unknown anemone that seemed to be disturbed by the hairy crab.

Yup, there were lots of anemone finds! Great!

Elsewhere nearer to the edge of the lagoon, there were abundant zoanthids of different colours as well as corals.

James found this juvenile Starry flatworm (Pseudobiceros stellae) on the blade of tape seagrass.

Later, we realised there were many more of the same species among the seagrass blades!

And what else can make us high other than slugs?

Just like at Tanah Merah, there were tiny weeny strawberry looking sea slugs at the bottom of this seaweed.

Ria showed us this amazing, yet also small, slug that can be found grazing at the seagrass blade.

Just like at Sentosa, James found yet another Gymnodoris nudibranch (Gymnodoris sp.)! This time also on a blade of seagrass. Can tell that seagrasses are great hiding places for animals.

Then later Mei Lin and Chay Hoon found another type of the Gymnodoris nudibranch but this particular one has spiky pointed edges. My first time seeing such a type of Gymnodoris nudibranch.

Mei Lin's wish was granted when Ria finally found the Burrowing Giant Clam (Tridacna crocea). It is the same one we saw in June!

As for me, James made my wish granted!!! The top find of the day....drum rolls!

It is the elusive and rare Basket star (Family Euryalidae)! It is my second time seeing it. The first was during 2007 at Sisters Island which was found by Chay Hoon. How pretty it is don't you agree?

And this is the underside of this amazing star.

Wow... though the tide is quite high today, we are also high. hehehehe!!

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