Sunday, September 27, 2009

Sunny & Nice Dive @ Pulau Hantu.....

Unlike the two previous wet wet dives at Pulau Satumu and at Pulau Hantu last month, today's Hantu Bloggers dive was done with Mr Sun smiling over us! It was warm and the vis was a good one of 3-4m!

My volunteer guide was Jimmy and he found couple of creatures that are first sightings for me!

Here's the first one;

It's a Xeno Crab(Xenocarcinus sp.) on a Sea Whip!

Lots of Icon Seastars litter on the seabed.

With a few of them having parasitic Sea Snails on them.

And came across two such tiny tiny little stars! Here's one for the scale of size with my finger (the black thingy).

There were lots of Filefish too!

A small and thin Ocellate Pipefish.

At the shallow end, Acropora crab (Looks like Tetralia nigrolineata) hiding among the branching Stag Horn coral(Acropora sp.).

And on the deeper end, a Sea Pen rooted itself into the soft silty seabed.

Only small Flatworms were seen today.

I was on a lookout for Allied Cowries and was happy to see two such cowries on Sea Whips

And of course, Nudibranch too!

Lots of the Blue Dragon nudibranch (Pteraeolidia ianthina)!

The common sightings of Phyllid nudibranch (Phyllidia elegans-Top, Phyllidiella pustulosa-Bottom)

A grain size Dermatobranchus nudibranch (Dermatobranchus sp.)

Many-lined Chromodoris nudibranch (Chromodoris lineolata).

Saw two Bornella nudibranch (Bornella sp.). This one was crawling on the rubbles and while.....

the other one was hiding among the Hydroids.

The Cuthona nudibranch (Cuthona Sibogae) is another kind of nudibranch that you can find on Hydroids too.

Couple of Gymnodoris nudibranch (Gymnodoris sp.) were spotted. Hmmm....wonder if the bottom one had just lay the egg ribbons (orange stuffs on the top left corner)?

This gotta be the biggest Tritonia nudibranch (Tritonia bollandi) that I have came across at Hantu so far. This individual was about 5cm long. Not very well camouflaged in an orange Sea Fan!

Not far away, a second one was spotted by Jimmy on a Sea Whip. It was as big as the first one.

And lastly, here's the second "first sighting" for me found by Jimmy;

Looks like a Spotted Hypselodoris nudibranch (Hypselodoris maculosa).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Reef Survey @ Pulau Satumu Aborted.....

Yesterday, BWV ReefFriends had a reef survey to be conducted at Pulau Satumu. The day started with overcast sky at the marina and as we make our way to the island, we could see that rain had started to fall over the horizon.

We also get to see a big waterspout forming behind Pulau Sudong.

and soon the boat hit the heavy downpour and the visibility was limited that we can't see any of the islands nearby!

Fortunately, as we reached our destination, the rain eased up but the sky still remained cloudy and dark.

The first dive went smoothly with manageable currents. Then when Gina and Kee Seng jumped into the water to start their second dive, they had a hard time with the currents. Gina managed to reach the bouy but Kee Seng was swept away far from it. Fortunately, he managed to reach the seawall for safety before being swept out of the reef.

The currents were just too strong and at time, we even see mini whirlpools forming. Looking at the situation, Jeff decided to abort the dive for the our safety. But before that, he and Gina had to fight the currents to retrieve all the transect tapes and the buoy. And here's when they surfaced. We have to use a buoy line to pull them back to the boat.

Thus, we were left with a partially done deep transect and have to come back on another day to do the recording.

And here are some pics taken during the first dive.

Hard Corals;

This looks like a Cyphastrea sp.

I spent quite some times figuring out this coral. It's a Carnation coral (Pectinia sp.) after checking with Jeff. I was doubting because it did not have fluted projections that I came across with most Carnation corals.

This one looks like a Platygyra sp.

Think this one could be a young Mycedium sp.

The thing behind the transect tape is a huge Moon coral (Diploastrea heliopora)! It was more than a meter wide and high!

Unfortunately, we also came across a big overturned coral along the tape.

The Feather Stars were out and about and they are really big!

And a beautiful Tube Anemone along the line too.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Spiders @ SBWR.....

Joined Ria for her trip to Sungei Buloh Wetland Reserve this morning. While she looked at plants and other animals, I was mainly looking out for Spiders to shoot (photo I mean :p).

We did the Mangrove boardwalk next to the Visitor centre. I came across several spiders while walking and checking out on this 500m boardwalk. Some as small as a grain of rice to one that is about size of 20cents coin. They were mainly found on the wooden railings of the boardwalk. One just have to look and check out anything that moves! :p

The first spider of the day is this Jumping Spider. It was found on the railing.

Look out for webs that lined across the railings. I found this one on its web? and looks like it has another spider as its prey.

Look out for tiny black ants on the railings! Look carefully because sometime they turn out to be a Spider that mimic ants! I only managed a photo of this one as it was just moving too fast! It also moved very ant-like.

This Lynx Spider was also out on the railing too!

Think this is a Two-tailed Spider. It was found on one of the shelter's pillars.

Here's a close up of the Spider. It is named "Two-tailed Spider" is because of the two out of proportion long and pointed spinnerets (at center top of the pic).

This one was on the railing and it was about 5mm big. The underside of its abdomen is yellowish and the top part is black with some white spots/patches. Hmmm.....wonder what kind of Spider is this? Anyone knows the ID?

And final sighting for the day, is this little Cutie! And yes, you guess it, it was found on the railings again! About 5mm too and I have had a hard time shooting it. Because it kept jumping onto the lens!