Saturday, December 19, 2009

Tanah Merah: Brightly led

Probably one of the rare chances to visit Tanah Merah in the bright afternoon, we had a good look of the surroundings.

Even the cityscape was visible. We were once again blessed with good weather that allowed us to explore the shore. This time, I brought my friends: Chun Fong, Lester, Bingquan and Yang Yuan for their first time here.

At the very beginning, Chun Fong already found a weird-looking white shrimp. I was oblivious to the identity during the field trip.

But after looking at it closer at home, I think it is a Saron shrimp (Family Hippolytidae)! This shrimp has a long snout-like appendage near its head and has banded legs which are similar to that of a Saron shrimp.

We sort of figured that they can change their colour. Now the question is, do they turn white during daytime?

But what surprised me was that transparent-like shrimp with long arms trying to harass the white shrimp repeatedly. I have no idea what kind of behaviour is this!

Another rare surprise will be this Banded snapping shrimp (Family Alpheidae) found by the keen eyes of Lester. I think it is my first time seeing it! Wow.

With the help from Marcus and Artour, this shrimp has been identified and is probably Alpheus macellarius.

The sunlight available during the daytime allowed some good opportunities to take underwater shots like this Orange fan worm.

James spotted this tiny Sea fan (Order Gorgonacea) that is probably our first time seeing it within the lagoon.

Bingquan and Yang Yuan suddenly yelled to me asking if they have spotted a stonefish. With the terrifying feel of realizing the possibility of a real stonefish, I went over to check their find and it was actually a very cute looking juvenile Longspined scorpionfish (Paracentropogon longispinis).

Then there was this drifting object spotted by them. It was very small and it is alive. Could this be the Brown sweetlips (Plectorhinchus gibbosus)? Or is it something else altogether.

I was flipping some rocks to check to life beneath them and this Juvenile copperbanded butterflyfish (Chelmon rostratus) appeared.

Another nice fishy find will be this long and snake-like Carpet eel-blenny (Congrogadus subducens).

Now tell me which fish does this eye belong to?

Haha, it belongs to the scary yet grumpy looking Hollow-cheeked stonefish (Synanceia horrida) found by James. It's my second time seeing it at Tanah Merah. A reminder of how dangerous this shore is!

There were a few sea cucumbers sighted like this Synaptic sea cumuber. The Garlic bread sea cucumber (Holothuria scabra) was also sighted.

Ria found our first flatworm of the day: the Persian carpet flatworm (Pseudobiceros bedfordi).

Later, Marcus found this Orange-edged black flatworm (Pseudobiceros uniarborensis). It's amazing that we can find reefy animals like these flatworms on a reclaimed shore.

Not only are there flatworms, one can find nudibranchs as well. Just near where Marcus found a Denison's nudibranch (Dendrodoris denisoni), I saw another one as well.

On the shore are some zoanthids patches. Something interesting that I've spotted today were living snails that are on top of these polyps. Are they grazing on the zoanthids?

Underneath a rock, I found something that looks like the Hammer oyster (Malleus sp.) though it was not shaped like one.

Another bivalve will be several of these Fan clams (Family Pinnidae) with both black and beige mantle.

The best echinoderm find of the day will be this gorgeous brittlestar with black orange spots and small black dots. It's my first time seeing such a brittlestar! It was found under a rock.

And Marcus found yet another special find, the first record of the The Spider conch (Lambis lambis) here!

The spider conch has two long eyestalks that are very cute and they seem to be rather dazzled by the flashes of our paparazzing.

The sunset behind the clouds is beautiful. Oh well, less the sandflies, stonefish and stingray panics, Tanah Merah is as lovely in the daylight, though more fishes prefer to be out at dark.

More of my photos of the trip here:

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