Saturday, August 4, 2007

Semakau Landfill - Transact (4th August 2007)

Today the Team SeaGrass did the Sea Grass transect in Semakau. Been to Semakau countless of time, partner with Annabelle, we decided to opt for the more obscured site which is the furthest from the RMBR Guding Route.

Semakau has the largest Sea Grass meadows in Singapore, and the Tape Sea Grass (Enhalus acoroides) was abundant here, and amongst this common sea grass, we found the not so common Sickle Sea Grass (Thalassia hemprichii).

Alas with hand in sea water, it was not advisable to bring out the camera to capture these plants.

Upon completing the transact, we were in a haste to do some exploration before the high tide, even as we explore we can sense the tide was already coming in.

This was the first time we see such a Sea Cucumber, not too sure what it is, but suspect that it may be a Curryfish (Stichopus herrmanni Family Stichopodidae). This specimen was about 20 cm in length (relax), it was found near the sandy part, just after the meadow. Black in colour all around and with orange spots. Any confirmed ID of this specimen is most welcome.

As we wade deepere into the water, we found these two related Swimming Crab sparring (Thalamita sp). Eventually the Red Swimming Crab (Thalamita spinimana) yielded and retreated. What were they fighting, probably territory right!

Browsing around, we saw a yellowish orange mass near to this Magnificent sea anemone (Heteractis magnifica). You can see that yellowish orangy mass in the centre top of the picture below. The closed up is below. Eggs of some marine organism? We have no idea. But they look like toppings on ice-kacang!
As the water flowed in, we headed back to shore and chanced upon this upside down jellyfish. The normal position, is the tentacles face upward, and the bell sits on the sea bed. We have to turn it around to snap a shot, before returning it to its normal state.

Does this jellyfish sting? To find out, Annabelle decided to run her fingers through the tentacles. The verdict - it did not sting.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Hoverfly in Kranji

Wanting very much to capture the birds in action, but end up taking the Hoverfly instead.

Was in Kranji and saw a pair of Brown Capped Woodpecker (Picoides moluccensis) pecking on rotten tree trunks. The first picture taken was not well focused, so I decided to settle down with tripod and long lens and patiently wait it out.

While waiting, I noticed this wasp-like insect hovering in front of the camera, as though beckoning me to take its picture. Since the woodpeckers were not so obliging, I decided to switch to macro lens (Tamron 180 mm F3.5).

The Hoverfly (Family Syrphidae) is also called Flower Fly or Syrphid Fly. The adult Hoverfly is a nectar drinker and therefore is also a pollinator. Possibly for defence, it mimicks the outline of a wasp.

Observe the frontal shot below, especially below the two big red compound eyes, you will notice two yellowish stump that seems to be their feelers.

There is not much of information written about this insect other than the fact that it is the gardener's good friend, in that its young eat on the sap sucking bugs like aphid.