Monday, December 29, 2008

Penguin Island - Other invertebrates

The arrow points to the reef platform in the south of the island where I snorkeled and saw some gorgonians. Below are some other critters I saw there.

This gloomy octopus caught my eye almost immediately after I hit the water.

I saw a number of ctenophores (or comb jellies) in the water. I have seen them before at Cottesloe. So I didn't spend too much time on them.

While I was swimming around the reef overhangs where the gorgonians live, I spotted a huge colony of Zoanthus praelongus. This is the second time I saw this species. I first saw them at Cottesloe. This colony probably was three times as large as the one I saw at Cottesloe.

Later, while exploring the shallow seagrass bed, I saw these southern bailers (Melo miltonis). They were quite large, about 25 cm or so in length.

And on the way back to the shore, I came across this delicate sea anemone (Heteractis malu).
What's different about this one is that there was so much purple coloration on its short, stubby tentacles. Most of the other delicate sea anemones around it had just purple-tipped tentacles.

I found this sea star which I think is a Patiriella brevispina when snorkeling in the east side of the island.

The upper surface seems to be covered by some kind of plates with small spines (left). The sea star has orange tube feet (middle) and even an orange stomach (right)!


Catherine said...

Beautiful pics, as usual...

I particularly loved the purple anemone.

Denis Wilson said...

Yes, I agree with Catherine.

Underwater, the rules of colouration seem to change.


ria said...

Wow, such fabulous creatures and great photos. Awesome! I always look forward to seeing more of your amazing shores through your blog.

And loved the sea fans too in your earlier post, with all the tiny little brittle stars. Yeah, I too often only see the commensals after I get home and process the photos :-)

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Hi Catherine & Denis, thanks. The anemone reminds me of some orchid species!

Hi Ria! Ha ha! We have the same disease!

Steve Reynolds said...

Hi Chai, Happy New Year.
I'm glad to see that you are still snorkelling and also still posting blogs. I'm glad to see that you haven't had any trouble with sharks or powerboats too.

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Hi Steve,

I must admit it did concern me to read about the shark attack at Port Kennedy beach and the shark sighting off the coast of Cottesloe (where I snorkel so often) last Sunday. And now there's a snorkeler who got killed by a boat!

I am beginning to think I should be thankful every time I return to shore safely.

Denis Wilson said...

Hi Chai

Yes, it really is getting a bit scary out there.
Good sense is precious.
Happy New Year.