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Author/Editor: N. Sivasothi
Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research, Department of Biological Sciences, National University of Singapore.


Made with Samizdat,
based on PHPosxom,
based on Blosxom.

05 Jul 2007 - Raffles Museum News has shifted to http://news.rafflesmuseum.net

Thu 10 May 2007

Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement No. 1 (1995) pdf available

Category : pub

10 May 2007 - the pdf of Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement No. 1 (1995) is now available. [Link]

When the pdfs of the Raffles Bulletin of Zoology were created, we did not scan the supplements as these were lengthy and specialised tomes that most specialists would buy since it'd be value for money.

However there had been considerable demand for Supplement No. 1, and Murari P Tapaswi and colleagues at the National Institute of Oceanography, Goa, India offered to make a quick scan of the documents and return us the pdf. We gratefully accepted, of course.

A few days ago, thanks to an email request from Tay Mei Lin (a grad student at the School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand), Swee Hee and I were prompted to dig out that pdf and post it online. Although the black and white images did not scan well, the text and line drawings in the 5.8MB pdf are excellent and will be useful to researchers.

So here it is: Wee, D.P.C. & P. K. L. Ng. 1995. Swimming crabs of the genera Charybdis De Haan, 1833, and Thalamita Latreille, 1829 (Crustacea: Decapoda: Brachyura: Portunidae) from Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. The Raffles Bulletin of Zoology, Supplement No. 1. Pp. 1-128

What do the crabs look like?

For the non-crabby people, here's a peek at the two genera, courtesy of Joelle Lai whom I pried away from a barbeque to send over two photos by C. W. Lin (Chan Tin Yam's nominee from National Taiwan Ocean University, ROC). These were taken during the Panglao expedition that Joelle sailed with - she certainly picked out some lovely examples!


Charybdis miles


Thalamita spinimana

Posted at 12:18PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Thu 08 Feb 2007

Crabman and a crab - poster boys for the Panglao "turn-over" ceremony

Category : research

My Google alerts for "Raffles Museum" alerted me about a news article early this morning, revealing the whereabouts of museum director Peter Ng's foray into Manila earler this week - in Happy News!

It wasn't for field work this time. Instead he and a large crab were poster boys at the "Turnover ceremony" for the holotypes from the Panglao expedition.

More later, in the meantime, see new reports via Yahoo.

Posted at 1:02PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Wed 04 Jan 2006

All hands on deck - Crusty visitors ahoy!

Category : visitors

Be prepare all for the avalanche of research visitors in January (mainly Crustacean taxonomists):

  1. Dr. Dwi Listyo Rahayu (Yoyo): 5-26 Jan. (LIPI; sort and work on hermit crabs from the Panglao Expeditions)
  2. Dr. Daisy Wowor: 5 Jan - 4 Feb. (Bogor Museum; Freshwater shrimp taxonomy)
  3. Dr. Tomoyuki Komai: 11-19 Jan. (Chiba Museum; sort and work on hermit crabs from the Panglao Expeditions)
  4. Dr. Chan Tin-Yam: 11 - 14 Jan. (NTOU; sort and work on shrimps from the Panglao Expeditions)
  5. Dr. Masako and Dr. Lin Feng-Jiao: 11 - 19 Jan. (Tin-Yam's research staff at NTOU; sort and work on shrimps from the Panglao Expeditions)

Yoyo and Komai will be stationed at the Systematics & Ecology Lab. Daisy will be stationed at the Peter Ng's department office at S2. Tin-Yam and gang will work in the museum's second floor wet collection and the visitor's room for the duration of their stay here.

Thanks to Swee Hee (Curator of Crustacea) for the update!

Posted at 11:03AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Thu 13 Oct 2005

Life on board the "ALIS"

Category : research

Based on her "impressive" performance in the last two Panglao expeditions, graduate student Joelle Lai was invited along on a French expedition on board the IFR (Institut Fran¨ais de Recherche pour le Dˇveloppement en Coopˇration) ship, the "ALIS".

Raffles Museum sponsored her trip there in order for her to gain more exposure and training.

We hope she has stopped mimicking the Merlion and found her sea legs by now. At any rate, from her accounts, she is already dark, sun burnt, scruffy and salty. Its not torture, since she has hot showers, hot food and internet access - enough to send us a couple of photo-montages.

Posted at 11:23AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Thu 06 Oct 2005

"New species found in Bohol deep"

Category : research

"New species found in Bohol deep." By Charles E. Buban. Inquirer News Service, 07 Oct 2005. [pdf] Editor's Note: Published on page A1 of the Oct. 7, 2005 issue of the Philippine Daily Inquirer.

"An International research expedition has found species of mollusks, crustaceans, echinoderms (star fish, sea urchins and sea cucumbers) and fish that may be new to science in the deep waters off Bohol province.

The research was part of the Panglao Marine Biodiversity Project 2005: Survey of the Deep-water Benthic Fauna of Bohol Sea and Adjacent Waters, or the Panglao 2005 expedition.

A team of 30 marine scientists, technicians and fishing masters from France, Singapore, Taiwan, Russia and the Philippines went on a two-week expedition in May using unsophisticated methods like trawling, dredging and trapping.

The research team said it also gathered specimens previously regarded as rare to very rare, including those previously thought to be not found in the Philippines or even in the Southeast Asian biogeographic zone."

Read the rest of the article at the Inquirer.

This article refers to the Panglao 2005 expedition.

Posted at 11:42PM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Mon 13 Jun 2005

"New sea creatures found off Philippines"

Category : research

"New sea creatures found off Philippines." By Chang Ai-Lien, 13 Jun 2005. S'porean trio part of global research team dredging ocean depths.

See more photos of the expedition here.

An International team of researchers has been trawling the ocean's depths for living treasure.

Among them are three Singaporean crustacean experts, who in 10 days last month on a Filipino research vessel, unearthed several hundred species of prawns, crabs, lobsters and fish from the mud.

The precious finds were dredged from depths of 100m to 2,300m in the Bohol and Sulu seas off the island of Panglao, in the southern Philippines. The area is famed for having a wide variety of species living in many diverse environments.

There were blood red lobsters with sapphire eggs and deep-sea fish which exploded from the pressure change they experienced on reaching the surface. There were also at least 12 species new to science, and many more which have not been sighted for decades.

'You really don't know what to expect from the piles of mud which doesn't look like it holds anything,' said one of the Singapore trio, Ms Joelle Lai. She is a research student at the National University of Singapore's biological sciences department. 'But a tiny piece of wood or coconut husk could be the home of a shrimp or crab.'

She and about 20 researchers worked day and night sieving through tonnes of mud hauled up in a net the size of a small room. Sometimes, they had as many as nine loads a day to explore.

The 60,000 euro (S$122,880) project was funded by France's Foreign Ministry and National Museum of Natural History, and the NUS Science Faculty. The boat was provided by the Filipino authorities.

This is the second time the Singaporean trio has made the trip to Panglao. Last year, they were part of another international team which found 1,200 species of prawns, crabs and lobsters, several dozen of which were new, in the same area.

The difference was that the earlier expedition concentrated on coral reefs, and stopped at depths of 100m. Associate Professor Peter Ng, the director of the Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Research at NUS, who was also on the trip, said: 'Most of the creatures we found this time are very different from those from the earlier trip, even though we were virtually next door to where we were before, only deeper.' Large reserves of prawns were found to be living in the deep, a potential resource for fisheries.

Throughout, the researchers worked on board with four armed escorts, all Navy Seals, keeping a lookout for them. They were provided by the local authorities to guard against possible attacks from the militant Abu Sayyaf group, which is based in the area.

But the biggest problems were large rocks and debris on the sea bed. Expedition member Tan Swee Hee, the museum's curator of crustacea, said on five occasions the wooden beams in front of the nets snagged on something in the deep and broke. But it could have been worse, he said. The thick steel cables hauling up the catch could have snapped and whipped against those waiting onboard, or badly damaged their boat.

Prof Ng said: 'The expedition has given us a complete picture of the marine biodiversity of the area. 'This is the first time we're getting such a detailed archive, with some of the creatures being photographed live for the first time.'

But the global inventory of marine biodiversity is far from complete. About 1,800 new species are discovered on such trips every year, and around 275,000 have been recorded so far.

Copyright © 2005 Singapore Press Holdings. All rights reserved.

Posted at 1:45AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Fri 10 Jun 2005

Education and Research visitors to the Raffles Museum today

Category : visitors

L-R: Wes Nichols, Adrian Loo (RMBR Volunteer), Diana Nichols (Education Queensland).

Adrian is arranging to cure wood left over from the Hopea sangal tree.

Diana attended a pedagogy conference recently at the National Institute of Education and met museum staff N. Sivasothi at a dinner with some Ministry of Education officers.

A case study of her work in Biloela State High School is featured on the Australian/Queensland Government's Quality Teacher Programme.

L-R: Kelvin Lim (RMBR Collections Manager), Jeremiah Robert Trimble, Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University.

Jermiah has just returned from an expedition to India with Navjot Sodhi and being from a museum himself, dropped in to examine the collections and storage facility here.

The specimens shown here are of the Pin-tailed Parrot-Finch Erythrura prasina from the Malay Peninsula and Thailand.

L-R: Tan Swee Hee, Shane Ahyong.

Shane has come down to examine crustacean specimens from the Panglao Expedition 2005.

He is probably the first to start work on the expedition collection and with Swee Hee, was hard at work unwrapping the carefully stored specimens.

Posted at 11:03AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Tue 07 Jun 2005

More photos from the Panglao 2005 expedition

Category : research

Peter Ng, Tan Swee Hee & Joelle Lai who were on the Panglao 2005 expedition returned late last week and will be addding more photos up on the webpage.

See the flickr photo album for the preview.

Posted at 8:33AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Mon 30 May 2005

Live from the Panglao Expedition 2005!

Category : research

The Pangalo expedition 2005 currently underway is organsed by Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Research, PHP, MNHN and RMBR. The previous expedition uncovered hundreds of new records and new species of crustacea.

These photos were sent by Joelle Lai, via her handphone (MMS) from the expedition boat in The Philippines. For the larger images, please see this Panglao 2005 album

For news about the Panglao 2004 expedition, see earlier reports in Raffles Museum News.

L-R: Peter Ng (Raffles Museum of Biodiversity Museum, Singapore (RMBR), Simon Tillier (Museum national d'Histoire naturelle, France (MNHN)) & Betrand Richer de Forges (Institut de la recherche pour le developpement (IRD), New Caledonia).

L-R: RMBR staff on the expedition, Tan Swee Hee, Peter Ng and Joelle Lai.


The nitty gritty of expedition work - dredging, sorting, identification, preservation! Photos include CW Lin (Taiwan) and Yuri Kantor (Russia).

Posted at 11:49AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

Wed 19 Jan 2005

Bertrand Richer De Forges

Category : visitors

Bertrand Richer De Forges (right) hails from Noumˇa, New Caeldonia, where he is the Director of Research at the Institut de la recherche pour le développement (IRD).

He will be in Singapore working with the Director of RMBR, Peter Ng (left) on the deep-sea spider crabs collected from the Panglao 2004 expedition to the Philippines.

Posted at 11:48AM UTC by N. Sivasothi | permalink | ,

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