Daily Decay (25th April 2018)

Daily Decay (25th April 2018): Cuttlebone of Kisslip Cuttlefish (Sepia lycidas) @ Changi

Daily Decay (9th February 2018)

Daily Decay (9th February 2018): Cuttlebone of Kisslip Cuttlefish (Sepia lycidas) @ Coney Island (Pulau Serangoon)

Daily Decay (5th January 2018)

Daily Decay (5th January 2018): Unidentified Cuttlefish (F. Sepiidae) @ Coney Island (Pulau Serangoon)

Based on the visible portion of the cuttlebone, this is possibly a Kisslip Cuttlefish (Sepia lycidas).

Cuttlebone of Kisslip Cuttlefish (Sepia lycidas)
Changi, 8th January 2017

This Cuttlebone was identified based on visible morphological features, which closely match that of the Kisslip Cuttlefish, as described in Cephalopods of the World.

Cuttlebone of Kisslip Cuttlefish (Sepia lycidas)
Chek Jawa, 10th January 2016

This Cuttlebone was identified based on visible morphological features, which closely match that of the Kisslip Cuttlefish, as described in Cephalopods of the World.

Shell of Winged Argonaut with aperture facing upwards. Photograph by Letchumi d/o Mani

Winged Argonaut (Argonauta hians shell at Semakau Landfill

Location, date and time: Singapore Strait, Semakau Landfill, western part; 12 November 2015; 1600 hrs.

Observation: As shown in the attached picture, a shell of a female argonaut was found stranded and half-submerged among the roots of a bakau tree (Rhizophora sp.). A hole was observed on the lateral side of the thin, boxy shell of about 8 cm.

Remarks: This appears to be the second record of a Winged Argonaut shell found in Singapore. The first record for the country was also at Semakau Landfill (Lee et al., 2015).


  • Lee B. Y, S. K. Tan & M. E. Y. Low, 2015. Singapore Mollusca: 9. The family Argonautidae, with a new record of Argonauta hians (Cephalopoda: Octopoda: Argonautoidea). Nature in Singapore. 8: 15-24.

Source: Singapore Biodiversity Records 2015: 185

Mass fish deaths off Singapore coast spark concern
By Tessa Wong, 6th March 2015;

Last Sunday morning, Bryan Ang woke up onboard his floating fish farm on the Johor Strait between Malaysia and Singapore to find nearly all his stock had died.

“We woke up and saw all the fish floating belly-up,” he said. “It’s devastating.”

He was not alone. Hundreds of tonnes of fish – both farmed and wild – died over the weekend in the eastern part of the strait. Fish farmers lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in stock overnight.

Floating out at sea and washing up on the beaches and mangroves, dead sea creatures began to appear, from sea snakes and seahorses to squid and moray eel.

Nature guide and environmental biology student Sean Yap – who supplied some of these pictures to the BBC – said he was jogging along the eastern Pasir Ris beach on Saturday evening when he smelt a foul stench.

It came from what he described as a “mass grave” – thousands of dead fish washed up on shore.

“There were cleaners present on the shore on Sunday morning to deal with the carcasses, but when we returned at night the high tide had brought in a new batch of bodies.”

The environmental authorities said the deaths were due to a plankton bloom, where a species of plankton multiplies rapidly, damaging the gills of fish. It can be triggered by sudden changes in temperature, high nutrient levels in the water, and poor water circulation.

Government agencies were unable to provide the BBC with figures, but said they were “concerned” about the potential impact on marine biodiversity and were taking steps to investigate and help farmers clean up.

Mr Yap said he found it alarming that even species such as catfish and burrowing gobies, which are considered to be more resilient, were found dead. The deaths of “invertebrates like worms is also alarming, as it may mean that the base of the food chain is affected,” he said.

There have been similar mass fish deaths in the past five years. This time round, the authorities had given an early warning to farmers – giving them time to move their stock into protective nets, activate pumps to keep the water moving or even float their entire farm to safer areas.

Some managed to save their stock, but few had anticipated the intensity of the plankton bloom nor how quickly it would strike, killing the fish en masse within hours.

Several fish farmers told the BBC that rapid development in the western part of the strait in Johor, the Malaysian state closest to Singapore, was one of the factors affecting the water quality.

“The plankton bloomed this fast because the nutrient content in the sea is so high. And where are all these nutrients coming from? Land reclamation in Malaysia,” said Frank Tan.

But tiny Singapore has also reclaimed parts of its northern coast, and dammed up estuaries in the northeast to create reservoirs. It has pumped millions of dollars into the fish farming industry to boost its domestic food security.

Latest government figures show there are now 117 fish farms in waters surrounding the island, spread out over 102ha – twice the amount of space compared to a decade ago.

Dr Lim Po Teen, a marine scientist with the University of Malaya, said climate change was in part to blame for the blooms, by affecting temperatures and weather patterns.

“But on a local level, you can see the number of farms increasing in the last few years,” he said, which is directly increasing the level of nutrients in the water from fish food and waste.

“We need to have very strict controls and improve the water circulation.”

Some of the farmers reeling from the loss of their stock were considering moving away altogether to less troubled waters.

“This weekend’s incident was the worst I’d ever seen. Everyone is horrified.” said Mr Tan. “We may have to relocate now.” He said he was eyeing spots to the south of Singapore.

But many of the farmers were hoping to get through the year by restocking with new fry and selling what little they could save of their remaining stock. Said Mr Ang: “We are trying to explain to people that our fish is still edible. We just need to regain people’s trust.”

Source: BBC News

Casualties include eels, pufferfish and frogfish (which I’m seeing for the first time – sad it has to be this way). Cephalopods were not spared either.

Source: Sean Yap Instagram

Some tentative identifications:
Left: Estuarine Moray Eel (Gymnothorax tile), with Striped Eeltail Catfishes (Plotosus lineatus), Kops’ Glass Perchlets (Ambassis kopsii) and Telkara Glass Perchlets (Ambassis vachellii), and possibly a Threespot Damselfish (Pomacentrus tripunctatus).
Right (Top): Cuttlefish (Sepia sp.) with Telkara Glass Perchlets.
Right (Centre): Spotted-tail Frogfish (Lophiocharon trisignatus).
Right (Bottom): Spotted Green Puffer (Tetraodon nigroviridis).

Assorted marine molluscs of Singapore: Octopus (F. Octopodidae), Arabian Cowrie (Mauritia arabica), Green Mussel (Perna viridis), Noble Volute (Cymbiola nobilis), Spider Conch (Lambis lambis) & Fluted Giant Clam (Tridacna squamosa) @ VivoCity

Last few hours to see these and other examples of Singapore’s natural heritage at Day 2 of the Festival of Biodiversity 2014! We’ll be here at VivoCity until 10 pm, so hurry!

Bigfin Reef Squid

Bigfin Reef Squid (Sepioteuthis lessoniana)
Tanah Merah, 28th April 2012