Blog Log! 26 October, 2008

Date October 28, 2008

It rained this weekend on our way to Palau Hantu. Dark, grey clouds over the water create a dull landscape, not to mention a cold exit after soaking in the sea diving for about an hour! [above & below: Doto bella nudibranch on frond of Giant Hydroid]

The visibility depite the overcast sky, was about 3-4 meters. In some areas, the deeper we descended, the clearer the waters were. This was to be one of the best dives I’ve had in a long time! Perhaps it’s because I descended expecting to find the usual critters but was blown away to see them and some really rare and new finds!

I was particularly thrilled to encounter this tiny nudibranch crawling up a sea fan. I’ve never seen it before and neither have any of the guides that were out with us on Sunday. So we’re going to try to get it identified. It’s got very interesting rhinophores and orange-tipped knobs along the length of it’s back. It’s always spactacular to find something new in Hantu! [above & below: Unidentified nudibranch]

While I was on the hunt for seahorses as the usual places, I found a very unusual occupant in what could otherwise have been a seahorses’ hiding place! Can you tell what it is? It’s got a false eye-spot on it’s dorsal fin, close to its tail. This is meant to confuse would-be predators that it’s got it’s head facing them, while the REAL head makes an exit! This fish is from the family is Dottybacks and is called a Comet. They are not common to the reef and are only occasionally spotted. [below: Comet]

The discoveries continued to be exciting when on the way up from the 1st dive, I noticed a bright blue spot darting about a coral head. This Juvenile Emperor Angelfish looks nothing like it’s adult counterpart. Adult Emperor Angelfish look vastly different with distinct yellow lines across it’s blueish body instead of white rings. We hope this little guy manages to survive the trials of the reef and live to grow into its regal adult form! [below: Juvenile Emperor Angelfish]

And then, something bizarre on our second dive… something we’ve not seen on the reef before. Something that’s definitely new! A foldaway, canvas, deck chair! You’re probably wondering how it got there, and how it came to rest in such a proper upright manner. Well, we’re wondering exactly the same! What a curious feature to encounter underwater!

To view more exciting critters from our monthly dive at Hantu last weekend, swing by our gallery to meet the gorgeous butterflyfish, curious lizardfish, quirky crinoids and nonchalant gobies that share Singapore waters with us! Thanks to all the volunteers and members of the public for making this dive and every dive possible! Your support gives us the opportunity to discover these amazing species and if you’re reading this blog, your visitorship is what gets us these pictures! We hope you learn heaps from our blog and that perhaps a little something of what you learn will translate into pro-activity towards protecting our reefs, coasts and all the environments that nourish it. [below: A pair of Copperbanded Butterflyfish dive beautifully, nose-first into the depths of Hantu.

5 Responses to “Blog Log! 26 October, 2008”

  1. CH said:

    The nudibranch looks like Dermatobranchus ornatus.

  2. Wyatt said:

    Hi Debby, I think your New Nudibranch could be Dermatobranchus ornatus. D. ornatus is a species from the Arminidae and it feeds on Gorgonian Muricella sp. which is also where you found your specimen. congratulations on your new find!

  3. Sydney said:

    Wow! Din noe Hantu can be so fascinating! Apparently the poor visibility of Hantu (as reputed) has helped shield it away from divers and hence, averted possible destruction to its beauty…

  4. Camera Test | Pulau Hantu said:

    […] Looks like the macro function of her camera is working quite well! Now if we can only find you some Doto nudibranches to […]

  5. Blog Log: 7 March 2010 | Pulau Hantu said:

    […] You’re probably looking at the picture on the left wondering what it is you’re looking at. Don’t knock yourself up about it because when we first saw this picture we thought the same! If you rest your eyes for just a second in the middle of the picture, you will notice the eyes and pincers of a commensal crab that has managed to blend in so perfectly with the contours and texture of the sponge in which it makes its home. On the right is a larger-than-normal tiny nudibranch on the stem of a giant hydroid. This must be one of the largest specimens we’ve ever encountered! See how tiny they usually are! […]

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