Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Reef Surveys In May 2011.....

The reef survey by BWV ReefFriends started a bit late this year as there were no suitable dive windows in the earlier part of the year. Well.....better late than never, we had the first reef survey on 15th May at Pulau Semakau and the second one, last Saturday at Pulau Jong!

For Pulau Semakau, the site is located between the channel of Pulau Semakau and Terumbu Raya. It was my first time diving there. Thus, I was in for a bit of a surprise that the seabed at this site is at 6-7m only! Haha.....I was thinking that I was either at the reef flat when I was laying the transect tapes or my dive computer was giving me wrong depth. :p

Anyway, the visibility on that day was great! At least 4m!

And some of the creatures that I came across while doing my Line-intercept Transect (LIT) recording along the tapes:

The only nudibranch along the tapes. It's a Black phyllid nudibranch (Phyllidiella nigra)

Ha! I see you! It's a Cuttlefish!


There were lots of Long-spined Black Sea Urchin around! Thus, one had to keep a lookout for them while swimming along the tapes while recording. If not, it will be nasty pains if you got 'punctured' by one.

A Whip Shrimp!

The False Clown Anemonefish was too shy! Kept hiding from the camera! :p

Looks like an Ocellated Pipefish. Saw two of them that day!

And lastly at Pulau Semakau, saw these Razorfish while I was reeling in the tapes.

For the second survey of the year, it was at Pulau Jong. The dive window was okay but the visibility was not as good as we had at Semakau. It was about 1-2m. Nonetheless, we managed to finish the survey in one dive and had an exploratory second dive.

What did we see? Here they are:

A Blue-spotted Fantail Stingray!

Hard Corals! In different kind of growth forms! Encrusting, column, branching and submassive (Top-down). The Staghorn coral (2nd pic from bottom) had lots of tiny crabs among it, can you see them? Alas, I also saw a small patch of bleaching Anemone coral (bottom pic).

There were a big patch of Anemones along one of my transect tapes!

This Featherstar/Crinoid was 20cm outside the counting range for Invertebrate survey.

The usual tiny Basket Star on a Sea Fan was spotted.

Someone else was on another Sea Fan! It looks like a tiny tiny swimming Anemone!

Someone was on this Sea Whip too. Can you see it?

It's a tiny Squid! Probably a Pygmy Squid!

Phyllid nudibranch big and small.

An Emma nudibranch (Hypselodoris emma).

A Ornate Leaf Slug (Elysia Ornata).

Another kind of Leaf Slug. It looks like a Woolly Leaf Slug (Elysia sp.)

A tiny Flatworm!

Along one transect tape, I saw what looks like a Celebes Sweetlips staying stationary at one spot. So I went closer to try to take a photo, but it swam away. Then, I saw these two Shrimps! Hmmm.....don't think I have seen them before! Ahhh.....they look like some kind of Cleaner Shrimps, so this spot could be a cleaning station! Guess what? After I swam away and went back to that spot, the Sweetlips was there again! But it was still too alert for me to get a picture.

Here's a closer look at one of the shrimps! Looks gravid!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Ssshhhhhh.....@Pulau Hantu.....

Yes, it was somehow a bit quiet underwater at Pulau Hantu on Sunday compared to my previous dive there. Nonetheless, it was still a good dive with The Hantu Bloggers!

And here are some of the stuff that we came cross:

At the seabed (at about 11m) of the western reef, saw this tiny patch of seagrass. Hmmm.....wonder if these are Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis) or Hairy spoon seagrass (Halophila decipiens)?

This kind of Flatworm can be commonly seen at our reefs.

Not sure what is this that was on the green Sponge. Isopod???

A Sea Cucumber on the Hydroid.

A tiny tiny Icon Sea Star!

A Basket Star on a Sea Fan! Here's its underside.

A Featherstar/Crinoid that has a commensal! It's Brittle Star!

There are also Brittle Stars on a Sea Whip! Haha.....together with a Whip Goby!

Saw about 3 Saw-tooth Shrimps/Gorgonian shrimps on couple of Sea Whips!

And also this Sea Whip Shrimp!

Saw various sizes of Cuttlefish! Ranging from as small as a fishball to as big as a rugby ball!

A Sap-sucking Sea Slug (likely Thuridilla gracilis).

Commonly seen Blue Dragon nudibranch (Pteraeolidia ianthina).

Tiny Dermatobranchus nudibranch (Dermatobranchus sp.)

Haha.....I got "slapped" by someone's fins when i was trying to take a photo of this Gymnodoris nudibranch (Gymnodoris sp.). Glad that the photo turned out okay. :p

Lastly, after looking at more than a dozen Hydroids, finally found this Doto nudibranch (Doto sp.) on one!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Nudibranch Galore @ Beting Bronok.....

Unlike last year's visit to Beting Bronok where I did not come across a single nudibranch, yesterday's trip is rewarding for me who is crazy over Sea Slugs! :p Came across about seven different nudibranch and with a new sighting for me! :o)

Saw this Aeolid nudibranch often on our northern shores. Looks like a Cratena sp.

Another Aeolid nudibranch which could be a Flabellina sp. was found by KS and James. Had seen this nudibranch here two years ago.

A Cuthona Nudibranch (Cuthona sibogae) spotted by IK.

Found this nudibranch, which looks like a Notobryon wardi. This is my 2nd time seeing it on a intertidal trip. The 1st time was many many years ago at Big Sisters!

Looks like a Rose nudibranch (Dendrodoris fumata).

ML found this nudibranch! Looks similar to the one that KS found at St John. So it could be Discodoris mauritiana or Peltodoris murrea.

And the new sighting for me is this tiny tiny Doto nudibranch (Doto sp.)! Had a hard time taking a picture of it, as the Hydroid that it was on, kept moving about in the water.

Besides nudibranch, Beting Bronok has other wonderful creatures to discover too!

A Bailer snail that we saw when we just landed on the shore!

A tiny little Squid! Can you see it?

A small Octopus!


An Estuarine Moray Eel?

Poor Grouper got stranded!

Different kinds of Sea Star!

Different kinds of Urchin too!

This is not a Jellyfish but the feeding parts of a Sea Cucumber!

And here's a stranded Jellyfish!

Lots of Sea Pen lying around! And most of them have commensal Porcelain crabs!

A delicate Glass Anemone!

And a beautiful sunrise to end the trip!