Sunday, January 13, 2013

Colourful sponge garden at Punggol

It's 2013 and we visited the tiny stretch of Punggol shore for our first intertidal trip of the year on a not-so-low tide.

Nevertheless, there were lots of colourful encrustation of sponges on boulders and smaller rocks along the edge of the shore.

Here's a collage of the different types of sponges that add colour and vibrancy to the rocky shore.

On the colourful jetty legs, there are some sponges which I have not seen before such as this black branching sponge with orange dots.

And this yellow branching sponge, also with orange or pink dots. Does the dots indicate anything about its health?

Of course when there are sponges, sea slugs can also be found since the latter feeds on the former.

Chay Hoon found a pair of these Doriopsis granulosa right from the start of the trip. Don't think I have seen these slugs before. Their tentacles and external gills are of the same colour as its body, thus can be quite difficult to distinguish and identify.

On the jetty legs, I spotted this pair of Beaded nudibranch (Hoplodoris nodulosa) with a coil of nudibranch egg case.

Here's a photo of yet another two of the same species of nudibranch in water.

Of course, only Chay Hoon can spot super tiny weeny slugs! She found quite a number of these Okenia pellucida on the branching bryozoans. Yet another new sighting for me! The lines on the pale yellow body are pretty and look like they were intricately carved.

Glad to see that some of these Bryozoans (Phylum Bryozoa) are still thriving on this shore with high human traffic.

On top of sponges, there are many lumps of what we believe are ascidians on the surface of rocks. They indeed add on to the colour of the shore.

Carrying one lump of the ascidian is this Sponge crab (Family Dromiidae) with pink tipped claws.

I came across this weird-looking snail with yellow outer covering which looks like sponge encrustation.

At the lower water level mark are many of these Black sea urchins (Temnopleurus sp.) which can be quite scary if you scrap yourself against them.

What is special on Punggol shore will be the numerous Encrusting worm snails (Vermetus sp.) that lives in a tube with a trap door (operculum) to protect themselves. This photo shows an artistic perspective of what looks like a sculpture.

Another special creature that is only found in large numbers on Punggol shore would be the pretty Burgundy anemones (Bunodosoma goanese).

Though the tide was not very low, I managed to find Sea fans (Order Gorgonacea)!

There were many crabs on the shore and the not-so-common ones would be this Moon crab (Matuta lunaris).

And this tiny crab which I do not know its identity.

High human traffic continues to be one of the pressures on this tiny stretch of shore as many would come here to catch seafood through seine netting and laying of fish traps, pick up marine life etc etc. Let's hope that this mainland shore will stay for long for us to enjoy!

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