Monday, June 24, 2013

Lots of masked burrowing crabs at Changi

We were back at another part of Changi shore this morning to see what's out there during a super low spring tide.

I was pleasantly surprised to find this elusive Masked burrowing crab (Gomeza sp.) that we hardly find on our trips. This is only my third time seeing it.

And so I shared the find with Ria and she jokingly asked me to find another one. When I found the second one, she said that there must be a third one as well and in the end, I found five! Wow.

That indeed got us wondering why they are so common today... does it got to do with the haze situation?

Here's a meme that I have created to explain for the lack of N95 masks in Singapore. Here's the culprit whose name is aptly described as the masked burrowing crab. :)

Enough of insanity with cold jokes... here's another pretty crab, the Pebble crab (Family Leucosiidae) that I have not seen for a long long time. Thanks Chay Hoon for showing it to me.

Chay Hoon and I also encountered this large Smooth cuttlefish swimming very quickly, darting different corners of the shallow waters during the outgoing tide.

Another quick swimmer would be this Pencil squid (Family Loliginidae) that are usually found at night such as this predawn trip.

With news feed on the recent supermoon from the sky, we do also have "supermoons" on the shore such as this Ball moon snail (Polinices didyma) where its body can look like a moon when inflated.

Here is another moon snail that is nearly as large as the size of my hand (including fingers)!

This orangey Pink moon snails (Natica zonalis) is much smaller though but I do like the patterns on its mantle.

We came across a number of the Noble volutes (Cymbiola nobilis) and this particular one was apparently trying to pry open the fan shell. Coincidentally, the exterior of the fan shell is crowded with sea cucumbers.

Talking about sea cucumbers, we did find the usual types of sea cucumbers on Changi shore such as this Garlic bread sea cucumber (Holothuria scabra).

Sadly, I didn't see many types of sea stars, only the usual Plain sand stars (Astropecten indicus) on the left and the Painted sand stars (Astropecten sp.) on the right. It is weird that I didn't even come across a single Biscuit sea star (Goniodiscaster scaber) though Ria saw only one.

The number of Pink sand dollars (Peronella lesueuri) seem to be dwindling but it is still good to find a couple on today's trip.

The water was very clear today and it gave me a good opportunity to take close up photos of the tentacles of the Flowery sea pen (Family Veretillidae).

I saw one Ball flowery soft coral (Dendronephthya sp.) which I don't think I have seen before at this stretch of shore.

And there was a pair of the White snapping shrimps (Family Alpheidae) that demonstrated its loud snap from its pincer when I tried to take a closer look at the commensal.

On a super low tide, many large Haddon's carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni) were revealed and this one even has a pair of Anemone shrimps (Periclimenes brevicarpalis).

I also came across two of these pretty but scary Glass anemone (Doflenia sp.) that can sting very badly if you touch it.

It was a little puzzling to see many of these sea squirts on the fan shells and window-pane shells. Something that we didn't come across in the past.

We also came across the Miliaris cowrie (Cypraea miliaris) that is usually found on rockier and silty shores.

On the lookout for the magnificent Baler volutes (Melo melo), we didn't find them but instead saw its shell with an octopus inhabiting within it!

And just right beside is yet another octopus living within the shell of the noble volute. How cute!

Special finds on top of the masked burrowing crabs would include new sighting of this snail!

I managed to also find the Semper's armina nudibranch (Armina semperi) that are usually associated with the sea pencils and sea pens.

I'm not sure how Pei Yan found this as this brittle star with a dark oral disk and super long arms is very hard to spot!

Once again, we were blessed with good air conditions and ended our trip with first light. Looking forward to more trips on the upcoming days.

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