Posts

A new flasherwrasse, Paracheilinus alfiani (photo by Ned DeLoach)

Alfian’s Flasherwrasse, Paracheilinus alfiani

February 22, 2016

Meet Alfian’s Flasherwrasse, Paracheilinus alfiani, a new flasherwrasse I found in 2014 off the island of Lembata in Indonesia. It was formally described this week in,  “Review of the Indo-Pacific Flasherwrasses of the genus Paracheilinus (Perciformes: Labridae), with descriptions of three new species by Gerald R. Allen, Mark V. Erdmann and Ni Lu Astria Yusmalinda.” Besides the new P. alfiani, two other new species, Paracheilinus paineorum and Paracheilinus xanthocirritus are described and shown to be closely related to the Fliamented Flasherwrasse, Paracheilinus … Read more

Big-lip Damsel, Cheiloprion labiatus

Little Fish with the Hollywood Lips

December 24, 2015

November 2015, Lembeh Strait, Indonesia ~ Cheiloprion labiatus, the Big-lip Damsel, fascinates me. How have we managed to dive throughout its range for so long without ever noticing it? Last month, our friend Janet Eyre noted several during a REEF fish survey in Lembeh Strait and pointed them out. Damselfishes are ubiquitous on the reefs we visit but the ones that usually catch my eye are brightly colored juveniles. By the time the Big-lip Damsel develops its Hollywood lips, it … Read more

Shark Egg Case in the Philippines

A Shark Egg Case!

December 20, 2015

This is a frame capture from a video I shot earlier this year in Anilao, Philippines. I have found empty egg cases washed up on the beach (beachcombers call them mermaid’s purses), but never one with its little living treasure: a yolk and developing shark embryo. I have no idea what species this is – maybe a bamboo shark, one of several small species of oviparous (egg-laying), bottom dwelling sharks found throughout the Indo-Pacific. I’m familiar with the Brownbanded Bamboo Shark … Read more

Mandarinfish trio in Lembeh Strait, Indonesia

Lembeh 2015 Portfolio – Part 2

November 30, 2015

Lembeh Strait Part Two, November 2015 ~ Here is the second installment of favorite photos from our two-week stay at Eco Divers Resort Lembeh. Friends who visited Lembeh earlier reported unseasonably cold water and strong winds so we were bracing for the worst but as luck would have it, the wind died and water warmed just before we arrived at the end of October.  We have dived here in every month of the year but this month the bottom seemed more interesting … Read more

Cockatoo Waspfish, Ablabys taenianotus

Lembeh 2015 Portfolio – Part 1

November 22, 2015

Lembeh Strait—Once Again! Part One, October 2015 ~ The narrow 12-mile stretch of water separating Lembeh Island from the large island of Sulawesi in Indonesia is home to one of the Earth’s most diverse displays of natural selection and symbiosis above or below water. Even after more than 20 visits spanning 16 years, the ever-changing carnival of creatures inhabiting the black sand bottom never ceases to surprise, delight and astound us. Making our two-week stay at Eco-Divers Resort Lembeh even better, we … Read more

Throatspot Blenny, Nannosalarias nativitatus head close-up

Raja Ampat Blenny Portfolio

November 6, 2015

Indonesia, October 2015 ~ Here is our latest Raja Ampat Blenny Portfolio. We just returned from a dive trip aboard the Dewi Nusantara in Raja Ampat in eastern Indonesia, where we photographed some old favorites and added a few species to our life lists, like the very cool Throatspot Blenny, Nannosalarias nativitatus (above) and the Spotted and Barred Blenny, Mimoblennius atrocinctus (below). These blennies like areas of high current and/or surge and we found them at depths ranging from 3 … Read more

Two-inch conch

Raja Ampat 2015

October 16, 2015

October 2015 ~ We are ashore in Sorong, Indonesia for 24 hours, between dive trips through Raja Ampat aboard the Dewi Nusantara dive boat. What a difference ten years makes! Our overnight stay in 2005 was in Sorong’s finest hotel (which shall remain nameless here), a friendly place with a lovely marble entrance…but that was about it. The rest of the building was a strange combination of musty, old rooms and unfinished stairwells (a plastic potted palm blocked the door … Read more

Flower Coral, Eusmilia fastigiata, spawning

Spawning Flower Coral

October 4, 2015

Bonaire, September 2015 ~ Although our tally shows that we saw a number of species spawning last month, the September coral spawning event was just not very robust compared to past years (others who dive regularly in Bonaire agree). One of the things I had on my wish list was spawning Flower Coral, Eusmilia fastigiata, but this year, I never managed to catch any in the act of spawning. I have footage from our observations in previous years but I had … Read more

Bumblebee shrimp crawling over octopus

Blue Heron Bridge Visit

September 28, 2015

Two weeks ago, I posted about a dive at the Blue Heron Bridge where I watched a female box crab molt while in the grasp of a male. Ned had good luck too. Bumblebee shrimp are known to feed on the tube feet of echinoderms, so we usually see them on or under urchins and sea cucumbers.  He had stopped to watch an octopus feeding on a gastropod whose shell was too large to fit into the den. Imagine his … Read more

Crab eating a Sergeant Major egg

Sergeant Major Eggs

September 16, 2015

September, 2015 ~ We’ve been on Bonaire for the past three weeks as Buddy Dive Resort’s resident naturalists. So how have we been spending our time when we’re not talking fish with other divers? We’ve started working on an update to our Reef Fish Behavior book and have a list of behaviors we want to add. For a good part of this week, we’ve been watching Sergeant Majors (Abudefduf saxatilis), ubiquitous little damselfish. More specifically, we’ve been waiting for their … Read more