Saturday, November 13, 2010

No galloping but still lively at Sentosa

After Chay Hoon's first sighting of the charming Galloping sea star (Stellaster equestris) and the subsequent finding of yet another one by Ron at Sentosa, my every trip now to Sentosa is strongly driven towards the mission to find this elusive star. Furthermore, I have never seen this sea star before. :(

Thus, here I am back at Sentosa! It was nice to be blessed with clear weather as it was raining the whole day. Thank God for that. We were treated to a nice evening sunset in the form of pinkish glows in the sky.

The sad news is that the galloping star was nowhere to be seen despite intensive search. Well, this will probably give me more reasons to come to this shore more often?!

A consolation will be another sea star species sighted on the shore. This is the Common sea star (Archaster typicus).

Swept up by the waves is this Peanut worm (Phylum Sipuncula). The worm immediately went to burrow itself.

Ria found the Cake sand dollar (Arachnoides placenta) in the sand. Good to know they are still there as I couldn't find them during the previous trip.

Underneath a rock is this pretty Snapping shrimp (Family Alpheidae).

Moving higher up the shore zonation, there are many Onch slugs (Family Onchididae) found on the rocks. They can come in different shades of colours.

Often neglected, these Rock periwinkle snails are actually abundant on our rocky shores. We found them to be on a dead log of a fallen tree beside the shore!

There are lots of different types of snails! Here is the Toothed top shell snail (Monodonta labio) on the left and a Dwarf turban snails (Turbo bruneus) on the right.

Also common on the shore are the Spiny drills that have thick shells and blunt spines.

While I was on the lookout for galloping, Ria was here more for the common snails. She has found an assortment of Scaled nerites (Nerita histrio).

As well as Chameleon nerites (Nerita chamaeleon). Read more about these snails on her blog post.

As for me, I found this Wandering cowrie (Cypraea errones). These cowries are easily confused with the Ovum cowries (Cypraea ovum). The former has brown spots at the front on the upper side and does not have coloured teeth on their underside.

The reefier side of Sentosa Tanjong Rimau was very much covered with a carpet of Hairy green seaweed (Bryopsis sp.). And with it are lots of tiny critters ranging from tiny slugs, brittlestars, shrimps etc.

But the most special find for me will be this Emerald Stiliger slug (Stiliger smaragdinus). It's the first time I see it! This slug lives and feeds on seaweed. In the process, it will retain the algae colour pigments in its digestive system. The pigments colour the slug and thus make it looking like part of seaweed!

Looking closer at this slug, it has bluish tinge within. How cool!

Despite the bloom of seaweed covering almost everything, I still was able to spot a couple of the Mosaic reef crab (Lophozozymus pictor).

And also the Red egg crab (Atergatis integerrimus).

A couple of octopuses came out to play after night fall!

And at the end of the trip, we had a check on the Land hermit crabs (Coenobita sp.). Glad they are still doing well. :)

Despite there's no galloping sea star sighting, the shore is still very lively! Maybe we'll see the special star during the next trip!!

More photos of the day's trip here:

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