Sunday, June 29, 2008

Small Butterfly

These butterflies were taken at MacRitchie Reservoir Park on Saturday afternoon while having a guided walk by SY.
This is a Malay Tailed Judy and are found mainly in the shadier parts of the forest. It is considered rare on the NSS Butterfly of Singapore guide sheet.
Very similiar to Bush Brown but without the two reddish brown stripes cross two wings. This could be a Purple Bush Brown. (Thanks for the feedback)This probably one of the smallest butterfly - Lesser Grass BlueA Common PalmflyA very beautiful butterfly - Branded Imperial. Unlike other butterfly, both adult & carterpillar actually feed on the same Smilax bracteata as their food plant.Common Posy, less abundant compare to Branded Imperial.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

I'm Alive!

Today is special to me, to mark this special day...

"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle." - Albert Einstein


Sunday, June 22, 2008

Exploring Semakau Shore (21st June 2008)

After about 40 minutes of boat ride from Marna South Pier, we arrived at Pulau Semakau. Pulau Semakau is the only landfill left in Singapore that still in operations since April 1999 after the closure of Lorong Halus Dumping Ground.

Suprisingly with the reclamaition & construction for the landfill operations, with proper planning & management, in fact Semakau is one of the best spot for all the nature lovers. There are regular trips conducted by various interest groups to Semakau for bird watching, sports fishing & inter tidal walks.

There are about 40 partcipants joining todays inter tidal walk. The shore of Semakau is full of signs of life! The star shape marks is every where! These are the marks left behind by common sea star (Archaster typicus) after they burrowed into the sands.

There are several anemones shrimps swimming in & out of this anemone.

These sea cucumber with the very distinctive 'eyespots' is called Ocellated sea cucumber (Stichopus ocellatus)

We also saw another sea cucumber from the same family, a dragonfish sea cucumber (Stichopus horrens)

There are also several slugs that we saw today. I have been seeing this blue dragon (Pteraeolidia ianthina) for my last few trips. This is one of the nudibranch that have evolved symbiotic relationships with zooxanthellae to turn sunlight into sugars.

This nudibranch that we found is a juvenile which has not yet developed its crop of zooxanthellae. Thus, the colour tend to be pale & dull.

This is my second time seeing this Platydoris scabra nudibranch in Semakau.

This is another nudibranch that we found, a Chromodoris lineolata.

This is a Phyllidiella pustulosa nudibranch

Another beautiful slug that we saw today, a Glossodoris atromarginata.

There are several animals that was 'trapped' by the spring low tide. Animals that living in the inter tidal area must be able to endure the heat when out of water during low tide & the flush of fresh water during heavy rain.
Although this knobbly sea star (Protoreaster nodosus) give me the sign that he is OK.Actually, the curl arm is the sign of stress and when they are out of water for too long...they will DIE! The minute I put it into a tidal pool, it straight away take in water and relax all its arm.Another animals that could'nt hide before the tide was going too low. Is the sea horse.This giant claim are exposed to dirict sunlight too.I found this little black sea urchin (Diadema setosum) hiding under a rock.
This octopus is quite a big one, trying to burrow into the sands.While we on the way back to the shore, we finally found this Nobel volute (Voluta nobilis). It has not been seen for the last 2 monts after seeing lots of them laying eggs at the same time.

Glad to see that animals at Semakau is doing well.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Leisure Dive Trip at Pulau Dayang - Malaysia

A few of us spent a week end (13 - 15 June 08) at Pulau Dayang, one of the very popular dive site among Singaporean. Congrat to JL & KS. They are now a certified OW divers. That means they are able to extend their exploration beyound inter-tidal area! wow!!
We saw this big grasshopper on the palm tree outside our resort. Below are some of the photos taken during our dives there.
No doubt about the visibility! Branching corals is one of the favourate hangout place for fishes. They provide food & shelter to protect them from predators.
There are lots of crown fish every where!
A very beautiful lion fish.
This fish is very curious about divers. Perhaps she is puzzle why CH ignore him & only go for something that is so small.... as usual :-)
Noduled Sea Star - (Fromia nodosa) a close relative of Necklace sea star
I'm not about this sea star, however the appearance rather similiar to Egyptian Sea Star - Gomophia egyptiaca
This may look like lots of sea star stacking on one another....
No!.... Is a close up of Thelenota ananas sea cucumber. The length of this sea cucumber is about 1 metre.
Cushion star with the commensal shrimps.
This is the largest slug that we saw during our whole dive trip. The length about my palm and is called Notodoris serenae
The bottom of this nudi is total yellow!This slug also have a very cute face! Don't you agree?This is propably a Chelidonura amoena
Another slug that I'm not sure of the id.
This fast moving slug is Nembrotha lineolata
Phyllidia coelestis
This nudi might looks like another Phyllid, but is a Chromodoris geometrica
This shell may have broken, the resident Hermit Crab doesn't mind at all.
This anemone is extremly pretty and active under water.
Last but not least, a school of squid checking us up....
Looking forward for my another dive trip next month!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Exploration of St John's Shore

After 3 days of sleepless pre-dawn exploration, today marked the 4th day in a row. The low tide today is much later however due to road and car park closure, I'm at the pier at 4.30am before the closure take effect.
After the sightings of dolphin yesterday while on the way to Semakau, all of us automatically get our camera ready just in case the dolphin do show up again. However, no luck for today I guess, and we arrived at St John about 8am with our camera still empty.
Saw this 4 arms Common Sea Star (Archaster typicus) instead of the usual with 5 arms.
To most of us it might be correct to say that 'Time is money' but for soldier crabs (Dotilla myctiroides) it might not be correct. During low tide, soldier crab will surface and process the sands for nutrients that they want and left behid all the processed sand in ball shape. They got only short time to cover as much area as possible before the tide return. For the crabs, Time means feeding.
This monitor lizard was having his sweet dream, with the eyes closed without knowing our presence. He finally make a dash until we are right beside of him. . .There are lots of Phylid nudibranchs and like this one very much. The blue colour was so striking that I can see it from a distance. Is a blue dragon (Pteraeolidia ianthina) nudibranch that able to produce food from the sun light from the zooxanthellae in their body.
This is the odd one got seperated from the groups. The babies Eel-tailed catfish (Plotosus lineatus) usually form a ball shape with few hundred individuals when they travel. This will increase their chances of survival as the predators will be confused of which one to target.Saw this 2 soft capsule-like mollucs. It looks like bi-valve but without the physical shells! I wonder what it was?? Let me know if you can figure it out what it was.
After so may trips, we continue to learn new things..... just so amazing!