Posts

Redhead Goby Paragobiodon echinocephalus photgraphed by Ned DeLoach

Our Coralgoby Year

January 11, 2021

If it hadn’t been for a bit of movement, we would have never seen the pair of coral gobies living inside a fortress of branches fashioning a soccer ball-sized mound of cauliflower coral. It would seem that a small, simple life, lived out in small, simple surroundings, would be simple, but like everything else in nature it’s delightfully not.

Collage of BlennyWatcher 2020 Social Media Favorites

2020 Social Media Favorites

January 4, 2021

Time to say “Bye” to 2020 with some of our 2020 social media favorites. We certainly had plenty of time to sift through old files and dabble. I wish we had more to say about diving (sigh), though we did manage to slide in two trips – one to the Philippines before the pandemic lockdown, and a quick, socially distanced trip to West Palm for a few days in July. A friend recently commented that if we’re posting anything “on … Read more

Mosaic Boxer Crab, Lybia tessellata Bali DeLoach BlennyWatcher

Kidnapped – Boxer Crabs Wielding Anemones and…Nudibranchs?!

October 10, 2020

At first glance, adorable little boxer crabs don’t look like kidnappers, but a closer look reveals incriminating evidence—living anemones grasped tightly in each claw. As it turns out the crabs, which spend the day hiding beneath rocks along shorelines in the Indo-Pacific, commandeer hostages for gathering food as well as protection.  This novel form of symbiosis was labeled as kleptoparasitism—the theft of food—in a 2013 scientific paper. The authors studied the relationship using aquarium experimentations and observations. In an unexpected … Read more

A Black Grouper charges in and steals the frozen bait ball, the chumsicle

The Big Gulp

August 8, 2020

An opportunistic Black Grouper steals the show at a Bahamas shark feeding dive by snapping up the chumsicle.

Yellownose Goby peeks out of a Christmas Tree Worm

Christmas Tree Thief

July 27, 2020

When I became a diver, worms were among the first reef creatures to attract my attention. More accurately, it was the exposed crowns of frilly gills of Christmas Tree Worms, Spirobranchus giganteus, that drew my eye—so colorful, so appealing, so utterly unwormlike, and to Anna’s and my unending irritation, gone in a flash whenever we swam too close. While the worms’ long segmented bodies remain tucked away safe and sound inside strong calcareous tubes, their delicate crowns, vital for absorbing … Read more

Coconut Octopus trying to steal food from the other.

Sixteen-arm Tussle

July 13, 2020

Note: Portions of this article were originally published in Asian Diver magazine 2006 and in Scuba Diving magazine 2008. While exploring the pumice plain of Lembeh Strait in northern Sulawesi, Indonesia, I watched a coconut roll down the steep sandy slope of Teluk Kembahu Bay. Even though much of the Strait’s mountainous terrain is fringed with copra plantations, and huskless shell halves commonly litter the seafloor, I had never seen an intact coconut underwater, much less one tumbling along the … Read more

Sleeping filefishes Indo-Pacific and Caribbean

In the Grip of Sleep

July 2, 2020

One of our favorite suggestions for fish watchers in the Caribbean is to look for small one-to four-inch Slender Filefish, Monacanthus tuckeri, hiding out within gorgonian bushes, where they shelter from predators, feed, and even more delightful, sleep or rest at night by biting down on polyps for stability – especially helpful when the current runs. This behavior turns out to be a common family trait. In the Caribbean, we have also observed the Whitespotted Filefish, Cantherhines macrocerus,  Orangespotted Filefish, … Read more

More than Forty Years

June 15, 2020

We have more than forty years of magazines stuffed into bookshelves and closets around our house. We scanning and adding them to the BlennyWatcher Publications page.

photo of a larval Crocodile Toothfish, family Champsodontidae

Pacifico Azul’s Blackwater Magic

April 2, 2020

Following the lead of veteran blackwater photographers, we headed for Anilao, Philippines for seldom-seen larval fishes and invertebrates.

Two Brothers rocks (Morro Dois Irmaos) - Probably the most iconic view of Fernando de Noronha.

A Visit to Fernando de Noronha, Brazil – Above and Below

March 24, 2020

Fernando de Norohna isn’t necessarily easy to reach, but the endemic fishes and gorgeous scenery are worth the journey.