Sunday, August 31, 2008

My Tiny Housemate - Adanson's House Jumper

I have been seeing this tiny housemate for some times but just too lazy to him to pose for me some nice shot. While cleaning my camera after another field trip this morning, he appear infront of me again to 'beg' for some shot . . . well his wish granted! 8-)
As with other jumping spiders, this Adanson's House Jumper (Hasarius adansoni) spider have eight eyes, four in front and four on top.This tiny spider measured only about less than half a cm. There are white crescent on the abdomen and cephalothorax . This housemate of mime is a male.Female is slightly bigger in size and are dark brown colour. I have not seen any female yet, well perhaps this housemate of mine prefer to stay single??

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Starry Morning at Changi

It was 3+am when we arrived at Changi beach. The weather today is fantastic as it has been raining in the past few morning. There were lots of green sponges growing on the rock surface. We found lots of rock star (Asterina coronata) on the rock surface and also the shore. The rock stars seems doing well here compare to other shore that I've visited. SY found another one in pink. I saw this 6-armed sand star (Luidia penangensis) on the high shore. SY found another in pink colour. Could this be Luidia hardwicki? We saw lots of smaller sized comb (Astropecten sp.) sea stars. Strangely, we didn't see any adult comb sea star!
Biscuit (Goniodiscaster scaber) stars also quite common near the sea grass bed. We also saw another sea star that very similar to biscuit star but with more knob and spiny - Gymnanthenea laevis sharing the same sea grass bed.Not forgetting another biscuit looking star with larger body size - Cake sea star (Anthenea aspera). Wow! Is really a starry morning!
As we walk along the shore line, I saw quite a number of empty horse shoe crab shell or moult, both the mangrove (with round tail on top) and the coastal (triangle tail at the bottom of the photo on top). Ball sea cucumber is another animal that doing quite well over the shore here.
I'm not sure the id of this black sea cucumber.This strange looking 'stick' is actually a sea pen with their tentacles retracted when out of water.
This is my 1st time seeing this branching anemones (Actinostephanus haeckeli) in local water. It seem to be irritated by the fishing line.A close-up look on this weild looking anemones.See something familiar? This anemones is enjoying his breakfast...Oh! Is a hermit crab! I wonder if the anemones take in the shell as well or how the anemones seperate the hermit crab from its shell?There is another crab - elbow crab staying at the side of the anemones. Does the elbow crab immune from the anemones stings???There are lots of tube anemones with different colours.The photo on top showing fan shell with their mantle out from their shell.There are lots of flower crabs roam freely the entire tidal area searching for food.This is the close-up look of the leaf porter crab (Neodorippe callida)This eel-tailed catfish was stranded by the down going tide.This butterfly fish was hardly bigger than a 5 cent coin!!

As always, Changi - always so lifely and with full of suprises!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Tidal Walk at Semakau

When I leave my place to Marina South Pier this morning, I saw a few traffic road blocks along the way at opposite direction that are still in operations at about 3am!

We need to follow the tide table on the tidal changes and to time ourselves so that we can catch the low tide at Semakau when we arrived. I'm guiding a group of 9 people and we call the group Hermit crab group for easy identifications.

Upon reaching the tidal area, there were lots of Common sea stars on the sandy area.
This tiny butterfly fish was trapped in a small tidal pool. This fish probably didn't realise that the tide is going out and luckily managed to survive in this tidal pool before the tide return in few hours time.
Anemone shrimp get the protection thay needed by living side by side with anemones. Another similiar relationship that can be found is between false clown fish with anemones.
When I try to point this crab to the group, it take a while before the group able to spot this one of the Master Camouflage - Hairy crab. The crab camouflage so well that it looks like a lump of seaweed when stay motionless. The hair will stands up in water and thus break the outline and is even more difficult to spot them in water.
Compare to Hairy crabs, Swimming crab are more "brave"! They usually raise both their pincers in a combat position when they notice our presence.
Compare to the the other two crabs above, this Fiddler crab burrow in the mud and will come to surface for feeding only during low tide. The male crab will have one enlarged pincer to attract female crab and fight with other male crabs over female crabs. However, they can't use the enlarged pincer for feeding thus they feed slower than female crab. Photo above showing female crab having 2 same sized pincers. We saw several sea cucumber and this is one of the sea cucumber that we came across - Ocellated Sea Cucumber.
Several slugs were spotted including this Chelidonura pollida.
Chromodoris lineolata
Glossodoris atromarginataPolka dot nudibranch (Jorunna funebris)We also saw quite a number of flatwormsFan worms

A live cowrie
An egg laying Spiral melongenaWe also saw this giant clam that consider privilege to divers as only divers would see them in the natural habitat.This top shell would be very beautiful if it is still alive. I have not seen top shell with this beautiful line not to mention the size of this shell that we found.Free living mushroom corals.
Is so amazing to see this octopus changes its colour to match with the environment.!
This is considered another divers privileges as Cushion stars usually stay in deeper waters.This large star with knobs on the back is called a Knobbly Sea Star.Thanks to all the participants in making todays walk another enjoyable one.