Sunday, June 28, 2009

Beting Bronok

This is my first time going to Beting Bronok. Where exactly is this place? It is located north of our military island Pulau Tekong. In fact, the Malay word "Beting" means sandbar, but more of the submerged land was exposed during this period of very low tide.

Here is a image of the place from Google Earth.

The most distinctive animal that we saw upon arrival are the Pencil Urchins (Prionocidaris sp.) named due to their thick rod like spines.

There were lots of soft corals spreading sparsely about the sandbar. It looked like my most hated vegetables, cauliflower and broccoli except that it comes in pink.

Me and Remus found several little shrimps creeping over the Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni). I wonder what species are these that can survive without getting stung by the anemone.

There were many Brown-Spotted Moray Eels (Gymnothorax reevesii) that were stranded on this little island. Some of them were really huge, about a metre long!

However, not all of them were that happy of us taking pictures of them.

Kite Butterflyfishes (Parachaetodon ocellatus) were also a common sight here. They have an eye spot on their tail to fool predators so that they can escape with little harm if their enemies bite on the tail thinking that it was instead a fatal wound to the head.

Samson found this Biscuit Sea Star (Goniodiscaster scaber) that came in six arms.

This looks like a Corkscrew Anemone (Macrodactyla doreensis) which seemed to be suffering from hair loss. The tentacles are supposed to be long and snakey resembling a corkscrew.

Probably the Lipstick Finger Sponge Crab (Lauridromia indica) due to its pink tipped pincers, these crabs are known to carry a bag of sponge or ascidian using their modified last pair of legs for concealment. However, I saw several bare-back ones that day.

Onyx Cowrie (Cypraea onyx) were also a common sight here and I saw about 20 or so on this trip. Some cowries, especially the money cowrie were used as a form of currency last time.

One of my favourite intertidal animals is the Gong Gong (Strombus turturella) due to their alien like eyes sticking out of the snell peeping at the surroundings shyly.

You can actually see the unique trail made by this edible conch. The little ridges along the trail were due to their pole-vaulting action of their sickle shaped operculum.

This flatworm Pseudoceros laingensis is known to feed on colonial ascidians in an interesting way. It can eviscerate out lines of feeding mouthparts to reach in the zooids of the ascidians to suck out the contents.

This little slug, Polybranchia orientalis feed by sucking the sap from plants or algae. The petal like cerata covering over their body drops off very easily and are sticky to distract any predators.

This pretty nudibranch, Cuthona sibogae seemed to be in season now. I actually found a few of them feeding off their faourite diet, the orange hydroids.

This soft and sandy habitat is an excellent place for many borrowing shells like this frog shell (Bufonaria rana),

and also the gigantic Bailer Shell (Melo melo) that RY found.

He also saw this Haeckeli's Sea Anemone (Actinostephanus haeckeli) known to give a nasty sting.

The sun was out in no time and I managed to take a picture of the neighbouring Bukit Belungkor Kechil in Malaysia.

Soon, the tide came and after saying goodbye to some TMSI staff who were there doing some surveys, we left by the bumboat.


Joe Lai said...

Thanks for sharing your wonderful discoveries : )

Siyang said...

Thank you for your comments too :)

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