For those who have done their research or heard from others' experience before visiting Coney Island would know that this island is notorious for its sand flies. Sand fly bites are not to be undermined because they are extremely itchy and long lasting. So what should you do before your visit to Coney Island?
We were in our usual gear of covering as much skin as possible. That means long pants and long sleeve. To be a little kiasu, a couple of us also covered our neck to minimise skin exposure to the little beasties.
Haddon's carpet anemones (Stichodactyla haddoni).
Carpet anemones harbour symbiotic single-celled algae that undergo photosynthesis to produce food from sunlight. The food produced is shared with the sea anemone, which in return provides the algae with shelter and minerals. The algae are believed to give the tentacles their brown or greenish tinge.
Hairy spoon seagrass (Halophila decipiens)!
Plain sand star (Astropecten indicus).
Brittle stars (Subclass Ophiuroidea). They are the largest group of echinoderms, fastest moving, most nervous. They fall apart easily, thus please do not handle them with your hands.
Purple branching sponge (Callyspongia sp.).
Thunder crabs (Myomenippe hardwickii).
Burgundy sea anemone (Bunodosoma goanense). So this marks the third location where this anemone is spotted in Singapore.
Coastal horsehoe crab (Tachypleus gigas).
However, they are not true crabs as they are more closely related to spiders than crabs. For first timers spotting these animals, just note that they don't use their tail to sting people. And we do not want to dangle them by their tail as they will be helpless if the tail is broken.
Furthermore, the horseshoe crabs provide a substance used to test the presence of bacteria and Singapore scientists made breakthroughs in cloning this substance.
Seagrass pipefish. They both belong to Family Syngnathidae. 'Syngnathus' means 'fused jaws' in Greek. Seahorses and pipefishes feed on tiny creatures by sucking them up with their tube-like, toothless snouts. In addition, both of their eggs are looked after by the papas (males) instead.
Glass shrimps (Palaemon sp.).
Ball sea cucumber (Phyllophorus sp.) found on the sandy shore. These sea cucumbers are commonly found in the north.
Thick-edged sand dollar (Jacksonaster depressum) which means there could be living ones somewhere.
So do cover as much skin as possible before your visit to the rustic Coney Island! :)