Monday, July 02, 2007

Sisters Island June 2007 - Pulau Subar Laut

30th June 2007 mark my 1st trip to the Sisters Island. Big Sister (Pulau Subar Laut) to be exact. When early in the morning with the fellows from Beach Fleas.

(The Intertidal Lagoon just before sun rise)

(The Sun is up!)

Had quite a fruitful trip. Although according to the "veteran", it has been "quiet" today. THe lagoon lost some colors. This is mainly due to the absent of many sponges and some corals. In actual facts, while exploring the area I do noticed that there are quite a few corals are not doing too well. Some look like breeching. Some diseased and some just simply dying. Wildfilm blog has some pix of the corals been infested by lots of flatworms. Flatworms are the simplest of the worm groups which has >20,000 species known. They are considered a parasitic that lives off of another living thing, typically some corals.

(Hard Coral)

(Green Anemone Hard coral, Goniopora sp.)

(Hard Coral)

(Probably Green Star Polyp, Pachyclavularia sp.)

(Plate/Disc or Mushroom Coral, Fungia sp.)

Beside seeing corals, I also managed to spot some anemones. 3 only in fact. I was hoping to see more or at least a large carpet anemone. Good thing, Ron, Helen and July did saw one with a False Clown hosting it. Check out Ron's blog.

(Branched-tentacle anemone, Phymanthus sp.)

(Star anemone, Condylactis sp.) - Pardon me on my lousy photo skill. :p)

(Probably a White Star Anemone?)

There is no lack of fishes in the lagoon. Even at its lowest tide, we can still see lots of fishes and inverts around. Due to my limited photography skill in dark environment, most of my pix cannot it make to press.

(Probably some Cardinal Fish)

(A FlatHead fish?)

The mantis shrimp is not, in fact, a shrimp. It belongs to the subphylum Crustacea which is the largest class of crustaceans, containing more than 20,000 species. The one we saw at Sisters is a smasher. Smasher has a very sharp, single point at the end of the last segment, which can be used like a knife to stab or slash at soft tissues while spearer have something like 3 to 17 upward/outward projecting spines on the last segment, but no heel at it's base.

(Green Mantis Shrimp

We had some interesting discovery after the sun rise and just in time before the tides came back in. There was the Decorator crab and Basket Star. Apprarently, a decorator crab camouflaged itself with tiny seaweeds and animals like anemones, sponges and bryozoans.

(Decorator Crab, Cyclocoeloma tuberculata?)

It seems like all the veteren are overjoyed with the discovery of the Basket star cos it is the 1st time they saw one in Sisters. Basket stars are a specialized type of brittle stars which have a series of complexly branched arms which are used to catch plankton.

(Basket Star, Gorgonocephalus eucnemis?)

All in all, a very nice trip. Saw some spectacular views of the southern inlands with yet another shore in Singapore that "wow" me with its lovely life!.

(At the Jetty)

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