Saturday, February 26, 2011

Surprises from reclaimed Seringat-Kias

We were amazed at what we saw at the reclaimed island of Seringat-Kias.

Originally existed as Pulau Seringat and Kias submerged reef, these two shores and Lazarus Island has been reclaimed together with plans to make it as a premium resort for the rich. More about the developments at Ria's wildshores blog.

Who would imagine seeing a large pink sea fan on this reclaimed land?

The surprise came when we ended our trip and waited for the boat at the jetty, where the sides of the floating pontoon was full of marine life.

And that triggered the team to lie down flat on the pontoon to have a look at the different types of marine life thriving there. Here is a yellow sea fan.

Marine life is surely crowded here. With zoanthids, sea cucumbers, bivalves, sea squirts, seaweeds etc all together.

Here's another view of a darker portion where we not only see colourful sponges and sea fans, but also Cave corals (Tubastrea sp.).

Here is a close up of the bright orange cave coral, with its polyps fully extended out at night.

On top of soft corals, we also encountered a sea jelly and a comb jelly! Check out Andy's video of the comb jelly here.

I also found a large colony of the Cauliflower coral (Pocillopora sp.) with their greenish polyps extended outwards.

Of course, documenting these marine life require some kind of a vertical challenge! It was especially hard trying to hold on to the giant camera with your head and hand over the edge of the pontoon. I was worried of toppling over :P

Nevertheless, it was a great eye opener. Floating pontoon seems to be quite friendly for marine life. And this proves that we might have more wonderful marine life in Singapore than we ever imagined.

So what did we saw before the end of the trip then?

At the man made seawall near the artificial lagoon, I came across this huge Stonefish sea cucumber (Actinopyga lecanora) showing its feeding tentacles.

James pointed out the scary looking Long-spined black sea urchin (Diadema sp.) near the deeper ends of the waters. Swimmers beware!

We later had a quick look at the artificial sandy lagoon. Though the sand was imported and checked for sandfly eggs, we still, ironically, encountered the nasty sandflies during the trip.

There were many Moon crabs (Asthoret lunaris) scurrying about, and burrowing into the sand when they saw us coming.

Another commonly sighted crab species of the shore will be the Ghost crabs (Ocypode cerathophthalmus).

The Gold-spotted mudskippers (Periophthalmus chrysospilos) of this shore are pretty not shy and we could get quite close to them.

Similar to previous trips here, there are quite a number of Common sea stars (Archaster typicus) and Cake sand dollars (Arachnoides placenta). Unfortunately, we could not find any living Laganum sand dollars (Laganum depressum).

Ria found this Oval moon snail (Polinices mammilla). This moon snail is quite commonly sighted on southern shores.

Bivalves wise, I found these one that looks like a cockle, the other like a clam.

Some surprises at the reclaimed shore will be a Giant carpet anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea) with an anemone shrimp (Periclimenes brevicarpalis)!

While walking on this huge lagoon, Ivan and I saw this washed up Smooth sea cucumber which is more commonly found at our northern shores instead.

Fishes wise, it was nice to stumble upon a ball of juvenile Striped eeltail catfish (Plotosus lineatus). These fishes find safety in numbers.

And what a treat to find the Large-tooth flounder (Family Paralichthyidae)! For these flatfishes, both their eyes are found only on their left side, since they are flat and lie on the ground.

We also saw lots of Tongue-soles (Family Cynoglossidae) but they all swam away from me so quickly before I could take a photo. Haha!

More photos of the trip here:

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