Tuesday, May 17, 2011

First visit to Terumbu Pempang Tengah

The super lows are here! For the 1st of my 6-days consecutive field trip series, we visited Terumbu Pempang Tengah at an unearthly hour where we set off at 2 plus am.

This is a photo of the reef taken at the end of the trip during sunrise. Terumbu Pempang Tengah is one of the three submerged reefs off Hantu. It is situated in the middle of Terumbu Pempang Darat and Terumbu Pempang Laut. At the background is Pulau Bukom, where the oil refineries are situated.

At night, there were lots of crabs foraging on the shore. The first crab I encountered will be this bright red but also poisonous Red egg crab (Atergatis integerrimus).

I also saw the
Brown egg crab (Atergatis floridus) and the Mosaic reef crab (Lophozozymus pictor).

There were many of the Spoon-pincer crabs (Leptodius sp.) that have spoon-tipped pincers for scrapping algae to feed.

I caught the Red swimming crabs (Thalamita spinimana) in the midst of their mating process! There is another crab just underneath the one on top.

It's night time. Therefore, it is also party time for plenty of these Brittle stars. We saw lots of their arms all over the place from crevices and sponges.

During the trip, I came across three of these pretty Magnificent anemones (Heteractis magnifica).

One of them has a False clown anemonefish (Amphiprion ocellaris) among the tentacles!

In fact, there were many Giant carpet anemones (Stichodactyla gigantea) and most of them were homes to these cute nemos.

Geraldine found this tiny anemone which I think is a juvenile Peacock anemone (Order Ceriantharia).

I came across another minefield of Montipora coral (Montipora sp.) that was also sighted at Terumbu Pempang Laut. However, the reef edge was not very exciting though.

Nevertheless, there were still some coral growths at certain parts of the reef and one of the nicer coral finds will be this bright green Galaxy corals (Galaxea sp.).

There were a couple of nudi finds such as this Bohol nudibranch (Discodoris boholiensis).

And also this special blackish Dendrodoris nigra found by Geraldine. We have sighted at Cyrene Reef before!

Sea cucumber-wise, I only came across three of the same species- Stonefish sea cucumber (Actinopyga lecanora).

Chay Hoon, with her bionic eyes, spotted this super tiny shrimp among the seaweeds and seagrass. I'm once again impressed with her ability to see small stuffs.

From far, I was not sure what this was. But this is actually a reef octopus stretching out one of its arms. I wonder what this fellow is trying to do.

Fishes were all over the shore especially since this is a night trip. One of the many fishes seen will be this enormous Fringe-eyed flathead (Cymbacephalus nematophthalmus).

This pretty Bengal sergeant (Abudefduf bengalensis) was hiding beside a yellow sponge. Was it sleeping? That could be the reason why it did not swim away while I drew closer. Hehe!

LinkLast but not least, my favourite find of the day must be this super cute Yelloweye pufferfish (Arothron immaculatus). I have not seen it for the longest time!

One interesting fact about pufferfish will be that they can inflate themselves with water or air to deter predators.

Do look out for the other friends' blogs and photos at Wildsingapore news blog as they have found many other special creatures during the trip. :)

More photos of the trip here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/koksheng/archives/date-taken/2011/05/17/

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