Thursday, July 23, 2009

Nocturnal Changi

Today I decided to go the end of Changi Beach for a short predawn intertidal trip. Glad to have the company of Diana and also getting a free ride to and fro from her.


The first creature we saw was a Horned Ghost Crab (Ocypode ceratophthalmus) that seemed to be have one disabled eye.


Another common crustaceans was the Moon Crab (Ashtoret lunaris). These rounded crabs have eight paddle legs, allowing them to slice with ease into the sand for a quick concealment.


The Bladder Moon Snails (Polinices didyma) were all active at this unearthly hour searching for it’s next meal.


I was glad to see a Thorny Sea Cucumber (Colochirus quadrangularis) extending it’s feeding tentacles like a blooming flower.

This leopard-skin sea cucumber is very abundant on the shore; we saw at least 20 of them! It’s a pity that an ID have not been placed on it yet. Update: This cucumber has been identified as Holothuria ocellata, possibly a new record in Singapore (though it had been spotted frequently prior to this).


I found this dead flower crab which was already surrounded by it’s scavengers, the Dog Whelks (Nassarius sp.). They can apparently very sensitive to dead matter through the use of their long siphon.


The Sand Stars (Astropecten sp.) is another echinoderm very common on the shore probably due to the abundance of button shells which they are known to feed on.


Some Slipper Limpets (Crepidula sp.) occupied a Noble Volute shell together with an Orange Stripped Hermit Crab (Clibanarius infraspinatus).

White short spine sea urchins (Salmacis sp.) littered the seagrass habitat, grazing on the vegetative cover.


We were also excited to see several big prawns crawling about the sandy floor.


There was also an sea anemone that was detached and floating aimlessly in the water.


Sand dollars (Arachnoides placenta) feed on tiny detritus and animals found in the sand.


True to its name, the File Fish (Possibly Chaetodermis penicilligerus) have a rough skin that can give a nasty cut as I experienced when I tried to released one from a trap.


Lastly, a live troughshell, Mactra mera with a tiny bit of siphon sticking out.

1 comment:

Federick Ho said...


Congrats on your new discovery of this "leopard-skin sea cucumber"
Well done. I am sure there will be more to come with you guys relentless effort and passion.

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