Jun 15, 2007

Life on Sentosa's reefs

Back again on the Sentosa shore next to the cable car tower that's expected to be affected by development of the Integrated Resort.

It was VERY early on during a new moon but the dark shores were very much alive!

The usual colourful swimming crabs were out and about.
Among the branching hard corals were hairy crabs and little porcelain crabs.
And what a special find! The gaudy Mosaic crab (Lophozozymus pictor) is highly poisonous and should not be eaten. Its bright colours probably serves to advertise this warning. This crab is listed among Singapore's threatened animals.
There was also a pretty prawn with a peacock tail!Another eye-catching find was this blue-and-white flatworm. I saw one and half of these worms. The other one was missing it's back end. Flatworms are very fragile and should not be handled. They can usually regenerate injuries.The reefs were full of fishes too!

Well camouflaged on the sandy bottom was a flatfish!

This fish is often mistaken for a scorpionfish.
It actually belongs to the grouper family and is the False scorpionfish (Centrogenys vaigiensis).

I checked on the little 'Nemo', or more properly called the False clown anemonefish (Amphiprion ocellaris), that we saw the last time we were on this shore. It was still there! It looks larger than the last time we saw it. Or perhaps it's another one (there were several in the anemone the last time we looked).

And I also spotted a larger anemonefish before it quickly squirmed under the anemone.

Just at sunrise, as I was about to leave the shore, I spotted what I thought was a rather large goby. As I took its photo, it lunged and suddenly had a small goby in its jaws.
Within minutes, it had swallowed the entire goby! I think it's a flathead of some sort.

What an amazing lively shore!

(Another visit to this shore was planned today 17 Jun (Sun) but we got rained out. Let's hope the shore is still there next month to visit during the super low spring tides. More photos of this shore on wildsingapore flickr).


quzy said...
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quzy said...

Beautiful pictures!!! Bravo for the work. But why aren't u guys getting more attention to this rare natural site in Sg? Perhaps u can highlight to the Nature Society and Singapore Institute of Architects, to ask them to pressure NParks and URA to change the brief of the IR, such that the beach will be preserved and integrated into the design of the resort. Exotic nature right at the doorstep of a casino resort will be a Uniquely Singaporean selling point.

ria said...

Thanks for the encouragement! I totally agree with all your views. And what a winner for all if these shores could be integrated into IR. So that the IR would truly be integrated with nature :-)

Indeed, we've done everything we can to raise awareness of this shore and the adjacent shores on Sentosa.

We've dedicated many trips to these shores. Photos have been submitted to the relevant parties and we have been in communication with them.

Jen Lee has kindly supported with an article about this shore in the New Paper (see earlier posts on this blog).

A bunch of dedicated volunteers have also been conducting walks on these shores under the Naked Hermit Crab banner http://nakedhermitcrabs.blogspot.com/

Do join us if you can.

We need as many hands and hearts in this effort as we can get.

lekowala said...

That's an amazing picture of the clownfish snuggling in the tentacles of the anemone...

I am feeling sad about the beach going.. I have been bringing students there for lovely fieldtrips...

Give us more info. I might write it up somewhere