Sunday, April 25, 2010

C. sp. 'Bintan Island 2'

I managed to find some time to go for a short 2D1N field trip this weekend to Bintan Island with my explorer friend. My friend had found many locations with cryptocorynes on this small island near to Singapore. I had been to this island a few times previously on my way to Lingga Island but I never had a chance to explore the island then.

We met at 7am plus and had a packet of nasi lemak each at Tanah Merah Ferry Terminal before heading to Bintan on the first ferry at 0850hrs.

Below are some views you would see along the 2hrs ferry ride to Tanjung Pinang town located along the south west coast of Bintan Island.
Without wasting time, we met our ojek drivers outside the ferry terminal after clearing the custom in Bintan, deposited some excess luggages (i.e. bags of 2nd hand clothes to give to the locals there) at the hotel and headed out to the field.
Along the way, we stopped by a road side shop to eat lunch: bee hoon ayam soto nasi (rice vermicelli chicken soup with rice), very delicious, especially with the homemade green chilli paste which left dripping with sweat. Fried shallots were sprinkled on the rice to add to the flavour.
We decided to head north on the first day. We stopped by a forest where my friend had some inspirations with and bashed in to search whether there were cryptocorynes, only to get lost for a while. I managed to found a few species of pitcher plants and a beautiful terrestrial orchid (please help me ID if possible, thanks)..
My explorer friend next brought me to a very beautiful but remote location where he found cryptocorynes. He termed the cryptocorynes as C. sp. 'Bintan 2' as no flowers had been found up till now to be able to confirm the species. It was a beautiful clear water river with submersed fallen logs. Both submersed and emersed specimens could be found along the banks.
The leaves had wavy edges and are brown in colour with some black markings.
The water had many suspended brown particles inside.
My friend managed to find a specimen with the female portion of the flower still intact.
The cryptocorynes were growing in muddy substrates with decomposing plant materials. The pH of the water was about 5.5.
A video of the natural habitat is embbeded below for your reference. Hopefully the video would allow you to have a better understanding of the habitat condition as compared to just looking at the photogrpahs.

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