Sunday, December 28, 2008

Fiddler Crab & other rare sightings

It was my first visit to SSLH, thanks to RMBR making this trip possible. After spending few weeks in the nature at foreign country, it is nice to visit our own nature back at Singapore. Is not my first time seeing this purple fiddler crab but is the first time seeing it in such a short distance! Photo on top is a male purple fiddler crab (Uca tetragonon)This is the female purple fiddler crab (Uca tetragonon)This is certainly my first sightings for this pseudoscorpion. It has a pair of pincers like scorpion but without the sharp tail. This pseudoscorpion that we saw is only about 3mm!I also saw another mini animal in dark blue colour crawling on the sandy area but I have no clue what it is. But it is slightly smaller than the pseudoscorpion.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

My Latest Dive Trip

Nevertheless with the unpleasant encounter, the biodiversity there indeed is very rich! Here are some of the photos that I have taken from my last dive trip.Well, I must say it was a good place for those who are into slugs!This is my fisrt time seeing a Sea star that measured 1.5m from one arm to another!

We can easily spot more than 10 eels in any single dive!

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Merry Christmas

Wish everyone a Merry & Starry Christmas!

Monday, December 22, 2008

For the name of Conservations?

I was away for the last 2 weeks having my holiday with a few friends in the nature. We trek, eat, sleep & dive at several areas.

The resort that we stay have no road access and only accessible by boat. This make it very exclusive and for whatever reason, we are the only guests in the resort. So, the whole resort is just few of us. As with most dive resort, this resort also have their own House Reef where only the resort guests are allow to dive at this area. This house reef is a combination of sandy bottom, coral rubber, hard coral, soft coral and artificial reef where big barrel & coconut leaves were used to recruit animals.

We did quite a number of dives during our stay there. During one of our dive outside the house reef at the open sea, it was a slope and down to sandy bottom where there were lots of big sea pens that stand at 1.5m tall! The current there were quite strong, I spotted a big shell in cone shape from a distance and I suspect it is a Triton Shell.On a closer look, yes it was indeed a giant Triton trumpet shell (Charonia sp.) Our guide miss it and when he saw us taking photos, he swim over to take a look. He took the shell with him and seems very happy and forgotten his duty as a guide or DM. He just carry the shell swim to the left and right with no clear objectives or direction. I suspect he was trying to place it some where that he can recognise and recover it later. We have to remind him on the bottom time and need to surface. Instead of putting down the shell, he carry it with him to the surface.

The Triton shell came out to take a look what is happening when it was remove from the original location.

When we surfaced, I ask the guide what he going to do with the shell? Why don't put it back to the original locations? For the entire trip, we take only lots of photos without 'harassing' or move the animals from their original locations. As the resort owner, they should set a good example but in this case, they obviously not. He say he is bringing it back to the house reef to help to protect it! Can you believe it?

Since it was our first dive of the day and we were diving at a very remote site. The poor shell was out of water for at least another 6 hours before we return to the resort. Although I do saw them rinse the shell with sea water every now and then.

Did they really eventually place the shell at their house reef? Can the shell survive? Is there enough large sea star to support this Triton shell? Did the shell smart enough to detect and adjust itself when moving from deep water to the surface like we do? Can the shell survive out of water for 6 hours?

It is my 1st sighting of Triton Trumpet Shell in the wild and I really didn't expect the one that suppose to protect them turn out to be the one that betray them. Triton shell is known to attack and feed on large sea star especially Crowns of thorns. Removing them from the original locations will sure to cause the imbalance of the coral reef.

For the name of Conservations, strange things do happen!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Best Sourcing Initiatives

SINGAPORE: Going for the cheapest option is not the best solution for companies which adopt it as a way to ride out the current economic turmoil, says the labour movement.

Full story at Channel NewsAsia...

courtesy of Channel NewsAsia

Saturday, December 6, 2008

An Unexpected Guest!

I attended a workshop on mushroom recently, and the workshop covers type of mushrooms, identify mushrooms, and include lab session too. Some mushrooms can only be id in the lab with the help of microscope. Usually mushroom that with very bright colour tends to be poisonous but not all poisonous mushrooms are with pretty bright colours.
This is Corprinus mushroom under the microscope. We were also get to prepare slide from the fresh mushroom.

While we were looking at the slides, we saw one unexpected guest show up under the microscope and quite cute too. I have no clue where it came from… ha ha.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Morning Walk at Sungei Buloh

I reached Sungai Buloh around 8.15am this morning as it is before 8.30am, I got to enter the Wetland Reserve free s early bird bonus!
Saw this rather familiar insect near the entrance. A macro shot of this fly looks photogenic!
This insect may looks like fly however is not. Is the Mangrove Cicada (Purana tigrina). Cicada famous of making loud sounds and the sound level can even reach 100 db!Another closer look at the mangrove cicada.
Could this be a big-jawed spiders that stretches its front legs forward and close together?
This is the Mangrove St Andrew's spider (Argiope mangal) can be easily recognise by two zig-zag bands.This is another beautiful Red Tent Spider (Cyrtophora unicolor) like to hide under suspended leaf to avoid their predator.Another not so red tent spider.I have no idea what spider is this.This poor silverside fish killed by the structure that suppose to protect her.Of course Sungai Buloh is the best place in Singapore for those who into birding... photo above showing Common Redshank (Tringa totanus) still busy feeding when the tide is coming in.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Where is the monsoon?

I thought I could save some electricity by not turning on the air-con at night. The mini me keep nagging at me for switching off the air-con and at last I give in...

What happen to the monsoon? Traditionally, last quarter of the year is always a wet season with cold wind blowing from north. December is just around the corner and I have yet to enjoy my winter cold weather in Singapore.

I don't have the rain fall data but I strongly believe that compare to same time previous years, it definitely lower for 2008. Since bike is my mode of transportation for the past donkey years, I remember I will need to put on raincoat during this time of the year and once it rains, it usually took few days before you able to say hello to sunny day again.

Well, I'm still asking the same question. Is the monsoon really here already???

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Jorunna funebris Fever at Semakau

I have a very fruitful walk at Semakau last week ends. Other than 2 interesting sea stars, there were lots of Polka Dot (Jorunna funebris) nudibranch as well.
Polka dot nudibranch feeds on blue sponges and can be seen cleearly from its translucent body.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Another New Star Found on Semakau

We found another yet to identified sea star in Semakau!
This new sea star looks very similar to Knobbly (Protoreaster nodosus) but without the distinctive red or orange colour. Could this be another Pentaceraster sp. sea star?

Friday, November 14, 2008

New Star at Semakau!?

If someone were to show me the photo below and ask what star is it and my answer probably will be Cushion Star (Culcita novaeguineae).
If you also guess as Cushion Star....the answer is No!
This is the whole photo of the new star that I saw this evening at Semakau. The skin texture looks like cushion star however, the arms are too long to be a cushion star.
The underside do looks like a cushion star too.

Just look at the knob on the back...cushion star will not have such knobs! If you know the id of this sea star, please let me know. I'm so curious to find out the id. :-)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pay To Watch Sun Set?

Is watching sun set one of your itinerary when you travel oversea? Several places that I have visited is using watching sun set as one of their main attraction and you usually need to pay extra to go.

We are very fortunate and get to watch sun set almost everyday in Singapore. So, where are the good places for sun set watching? Since we are staying on a island, we may watch sun set from almost half of the singapore coastal area from East Coast all the way to West Coast.

Here are some of the photo that I have taken during sun set.
This was taken recently on Semakau during one of the low tide.
Marina Barrage with the busy city skyline on the back.The above are also taken on Semakau
And the above photos are taken on Labrador park.
Well, there are nice sun set by the sea in Singapore too!

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Another Low Tide @ Semakau

I was back at Semakau to gether with volunteers from HSBC, NTU & NUS to explore the inter-tidal area.

Since I'm the first person to go through the forest that leading to the tidal area, I make a quick stop to take this shot. The mushroom was blooming on a falling tree branch. The big squadron of 'kamikaze' (mosquitoes) surrounded me force me to give up and proceed straight to the coast.

The tide was still high when me & HW arrived at the sea grass lagoon. Waiting for us near the sea grass lagoon is this oscillated sea cucumber (Stichopus ocellatus).
We've been seeing noble volute laying eggs for the last one year and there is no exception this time. The volute is still laying eggs and at the same area too!

One of the advantage of evening/night walk is able to meet with nocturnal animals such as cowry and octopus.As usual, there are lots of flatworm at the sea grass lagoon as well as the reef area.HW found this very beautiful nudibranch (Discodoris boholensis) that one part of the body got bitten off.The under side as beautiful as the top!

There are lots more interesting animals that we came across on the not so low tide evening. Another fantastic outing for me at this southern island of Singapore.