So far, during the Southern Expedition, Dr Jim has found 17 families plus one he can’t identify and more than 50 species and counting. The status of these species can’t be determined until they are studied in detail back in the lab. Some families which would be expected haven’t been found yet.
Dr Jim is most interested in beach-hoppers. These amphipods shelter under washed up seaweed and debris at the top of the intertidal zone and come out at night to scavenge on the beach. So far he has found a new species living on white sand beaches and another new species living on dark coarse sand beaches in the mangroves.
The most interesting find has been a beach-hopper that has moved inland away from the sea. This species called Floresorchestia malayensis was first described in 1922 from the Botanical Gardens and has never been seen since. Dr Jim and Paul Ng found it living along the MacRitchie track.
Indeed, amphipods can be found in a wide variety of places near the sea.I bumped into Dr Jim as I was surveying the mangroves.
a rocky shore. During that trip, I learnt lots of tips and tricks on how to catch jumpy tiny creatures that can hardly be seen!
Amphipods are also good moms! They brood their young in special pouches under their chest.
So much more to learn about our marine life! I'm really going to miss all the knowledgeable and friendly experts at the Southern Expedition.