Monday, March 21, 2011

Critters Galore @ Pulau Hantu.....

Yesterday was The Hantu Bloggers' 7th Anniversary. It is the 5th year that I have joined their Anniversary dive. And once again, it was wonderful dives at Pulau Hantu with lots of sightings (CT sighted a baby Bamboo Shark and PM sighted a 25cm long nudibranch!Wow!!!) with a good visibility of at least 5m!

We started off with the dive at the western reef, then to the North jetty and then to South jetty for the third and night dive. Haha....I particularly liked the dive at North jetty for sightings of many nudibranch! :p

And here are the critters that we had sighted!

Baby Icon Seastar! About 1cm from arm to arm!

Second "star" seen is this Cushion Star.

Then we have the Featherstar/Crinoid.

And here is the last "star" with a Crinoid on a Sea Fan is the Basket Star!

Thorny Sea Cucumber.

Allied Cowries on Soft coral and Sea Fans!

A tiny red shrimp found on Sea Whip.

Another kind of shrimp found on the whips is this Gorgonian/Sawtooth shrimp!

A Face Banded Coral Crab hiding in a Acropora coral.

A crab with soft coral bits "growing" on it was seen during the night dive.

Different kind of Flatworms! Most of them are quite small and with some sighted probably feeding the Ascidians! And first time seeing the maroon one!

Saw two Cuttlefish and here's one of them spotted by JG.

And JG spotted two Tiger-tail Seahorse too!

The Winged Pipefish can be seen at the usual pillar!

At the sandy bottom, A Flathead (top pic) and a Flatfish were trying to bury or blend in with the sand.

While trying to look for nudibranch on this kind of Hydroid, I came across these creatures that I have no idea of moving up and down along the "stalk" of the Hydroid. Wonder what they are?

Of course, there's the Sea Slug sightings. After that slugful day in last November, we had another slugful dives again! This time with about 21 different kinds of Sea Slugs (with one non-nudibranch) sighted!

An Eyed Phyllid nudibranch (Phyllidia ocellata).

A big fat juicy-looking Polka-dot nudibranch (Jorunna funebris).

A Gymnodoris nudibranch (Gymnodoris sp.).

This is one of the two different species of Dermatobranchus nudibranch (Dermatobranchus sp.) that were spotted.

And here's the other species of Dermatobranchus nudibranch (Dermatobranchus sp.).

The "Godzilla" at Pulau Hantu! It's a Slender Ceratosoma nudibranch (Ceratosoma gracillimum)!

Could these two be a colour variation of the Painted Hypselodoris nudibranch (Hypselodoris infucata) or two different species? Hmmm....

My first time seeing a Kanga nudibranch (Hypselodoris kanga) underwater locally! The cross-section and the yellow spots on its gills matches the description of a Kanga nudibranch.

A pretty Bullock nudibranch (Hypselodoris bullocki). Is it feeding on the sponge?

Hmmm.....wonder if this nudibranch is a colour variation of the Bullock nudibranh (Hypselodoris bullocki) or a different species?

This could be a Florens nudibranch (Thorunna florens). First sighting for me!

My second first sighting of nudibranch, in the same family as the Florens nudibranch, is this that looks like a Purple-dotted Chromodoris nudibranch (Chromodoris aureopurpurea) spotted by JG!

What looks like a Burn's Chromodoris nudibranch (Chromodoris burni) was found near the Purple-dotted Chromodoris nudibranch (Chromodoris aureopurpurea).

The third new nudibranch sighting for me is this tiny about 1cm nudibranch. Looking at the thick "in-roll" mantle margin, my guess is that it could be a Murphydoris/Goniodoris nudibranch (Murphydoris sp./Goniodoris sp.).

One of the two Snakey Bornella nudibranch (Bornella anguilla) that PM showed me to.

Red-lined Flabellina nudibranch (Flabellina rubrolineata) are in season.

JG spotted this tiny Doto nudibranch (Doto sp.) on the Giant Hydroid.

While I came across another species of Doto nudibranch (Doto sp.) on another kind of Hydroid.

I was so excited to come across this nudibranch! First time seeing one! It looks like a Tricolor Trinchesia nudibranch (Trinchesia sp.)

My 5th new nudibranch sighting for the day is this one spotted by JG during the night dive. It looks like a Pacific Favorinus nudibanch (Favorinus pacificus).

And the final Sea Slug sighting is this sea bunny, the Hairy Sea Hare! Had seen them mostly during intertidal trip so it is nice to see one underwater. With the hairy bits extended, it looks like a lump of moving algae! Haha.....and that's how I spotted it as I was wondering why that lump of "algae" was hopping! :p

So there you have it! It's another great anniversary dive with The Hantu Bloggers! Thanks Debby and her volunteer dive guides' effort in showing what Pulau Hantu can offer! Looking forward to the 8th! :o)

P.S. : Thank you for the surprise cake again! :o)