Saturday, July 2, 2011

A walk around Lazarus Island

My first proper trip to check out the natural shores of Lazarus Island was in Feburary this year.

One of the areas that we visited previously would be the lagoon where there are quite a good number of corals and other reef creatures. The water here is quite clear too on a outgoing tide. Today, we were back and were treated to a beautiful sunrise.

Our focus was on sea anemones and one of the sea anemones that we can find on this rocky shore will be this Giant carpet anemone (Stichodactyla gigantea) stranded out of water. You can clearly see its body column with rows of pink dots near the oral disk.

There are lots of Frilly sea anemones (Phymanthus sp.) of different types and colours, both expanded in water and stranded out of water.

On the more silty side of the shore, there were a number of Cerianthids (Order Ceriantharia) which are not true sea anemones.

Some of the hard corals there are quite large such as these boulder Favid hard corals (Family Faviidae).

This large unidentified shrimp or prawn has a pair of extended pincers that are very pretty with patterns.

After a quick look at the lagoon, I decided to complete the whole "cycle" of checking Lazarus Island by walking back through the side facing St John's Island. It is my first time here. Right in front is the bridge connecting the two islands and also where a fish farm is situated.

I came across the fish farm equipment 'parked' on the shore that Ria also saw during June 2009.

Here is a closer view of the fish farm situated between St John's Island and Lazarus Island. Just about a week ago, there were news of many fish escaping from the nets of the fish farm. Fishermen flocked there and returned with "bags and bags of fish, and it was all sea bass!

I witnessed two fishermen when I was walking along the shore facing the fish farm. Usually they are situated on the bridge but today they came right down to the shore. Will this help them catch more fish?

Earlier on, I saw this huge dead fish on the shore and am unsure if this is related to the recent fish escaping event.

Focusing back on what was found on the rocky shore, I came across this Onch slug (Family Onchidiidae) with patterns on its body.

There were a couple of flatworm findings such as this Blue-lined flatworm (Pseudoceros sp.).

This is another flatworm with a yellow band in the middle.

Dr Daphne and the army were looking for Anthopleura buddemeieri in the high shores and I was flipping rocks to find this anemone. To my surprise, I came across two Cryptic sea stars (Cryptasterina sp.) together with Little African sea cucumbers (Afrocucumis africana). This is the first time we see these Cryptic sea stars outside of Pulau Semakau!

When relaxed in a pool of water, the Cryptic sea star is gorgeous looking! This particular one has a mottled coloration of blue, red and brown to help itself camouflage among the rocks. Thus, explains their name.

These stars are usually found on the underside of rocks. I later found two more around the same area.

Though I was about to declare that the shore facing St John's and the fish farm to be quite boring, the starry finds definitely changed my perception! Haha :)

1 comment:

Ivan said...

Awesome! I always had this feeling that the cryptic sea stars couldn't possibly be present only on Semakau. So we've got a record from another of our shores!

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