Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Special shrimp and parchment worm at Changi

What a pretty shrimp found on a Haddon's carpet anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni). According to Marcus Ng, it is Ancyclomenes holthuisi.
Ancyclomenes holthuisi
This shrimp was found on the very last carpet anemone that I was checking on for the usual Five-spot anemone shrimp (Periclimenes brevicarpalis) today at Changi Beach. Even Ria was intrigued by this special shrimp.
The shrimp presented to us an interesting behaviour - "hip shaking". Here is a video of the shrimp's behaviour.

Ria has named it the Gelek shrimp. Gelek refers to the walking manner by swiveling the hips so as to attract the opposite sex, in Malay. I prefer to call it Sexy shrimp.

On the sad note, I only managed to find one Five-spot anemone shrimp amongst the many carpet anemones that I visited this morning.

If you observe the substrate long enough, there are actually tube like structures lying on the fine sand ground. These are actually tubes belonging to the Solitary tubeworm (Diopatra sp.). Many times the worm does not show itself. Sometimes I can only see its sensory tentacles sticking out.
Sensory tentacles visible only.
Sometimes, I get to see a bit more of the worm.
Head of the Solitary tubeworm with feathery appendages.
Nearby there are some Cerianthid phoronid worm (Phoronis australis) in black,
Phoronid worm, black
and in white.
Phoronid worm, white
Today, I was very lucky enough to see the head of a Parchment worm (Chaetopteridae) sticking out of its tube TWICE! It is the weirdest worm I have ever seen and it looks like some alien.
Retracting back slowly
Another parchment worm
The two photos above are actually showing the head of the parchment worm. I thought the spiny sides were its legs. A complete specimen of the Parchment worm was collected during last year's Comprehensive Marine Biodiversity Survey (CMBS) Northern Expedition. Here is an image of the whole worm specimen.
[Image from CMBS Northern Expedition 2012 on Facebook]
Online, I managed to find a YouTube video of the Parchment worm.

This is not a feathery worm but a buried sea cucumber with its feeding tentacles extended above the sand.
Feeding tentacles of sea cucumber
How about a view of what the Fan clam looks like inside.
Fan clam
Actually, the so called juicy scallops are actually the adductor muscle of the fan calm. The adductor muscle of the actual scallop is rather small and thin.

There was a very cute Sponge crab, who refused to let go of the Cerianthid it was grabing onto. The frontal view looks like the crab is feeling sad.
Sponge crab, grabbing tightly onto the cerianthid.
Sad looking face from the front.
After the recent TeamSeagrass training sessions, I am rather please to say that I getting more comfortable with seagrasses. Today I took a look at the lush Spoon seagrass (Halophila ovalis) patch on the shore and there were rhizomes sticking out with new grass sprouting. So happy. Here is how the new leaves of the spoon seagrass looks like.
Spoon seagrass, new leaf on the right.
New leaf spouting from the rhizome.
 On the down note, this stretch of shore at Changi Beach is heavily covered with coastal litters from local beach goers and floated in from elsewhere. There were plastic packages of all sort of items from food to household products and fishing hooks, baits, weights and lines. The poor marine animals have on that shore have to live in such environment filled with trash.
Thumbs-up sea squirt attached to a long discarded mineral water cup.
Pink warty sea cucumber seen amongst some trash and under plastic packaging.
Fishermen too have to be responsible in their fishing activities. Many time, marine animals unfamiliar to humans gets caught in the fishing line or fishing hooks get dislodged, and are left to a slow death on the high shores. Some may return to the waters but with the hook attached to them and a short fishing line accompanying it, just waiting for the hook to rust and probably killing them eventually.

An example would be this Spiky sea pen (Pteroeides sp.) with the visible rust marks after I removed the rusty fish hook with short fishing line. (I forgot to take a photo of the sea pen with the hook on.)
Spiky sea pen with two hole and rusting fish hook marks.
I hope the sea pen will survive. I found a tiny Painted porcelain crab (Porcellanella picta) in the hooked sea pen. Not sure what happens to the porcelain crab when the sea pen dies.
Painted porcelain crab
It was a good trip today though the critter finds is a bit disappointing. At least the special shrimp brought new excitement towards the end of the trip.

Tomorrow will be my last fieldtrip for this week before all the school work meetings and reopening of school term. I am visiting a coral garden tomorrow!

Post by others on this trip:
Ria - New finds at Changi

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