Posts

Nailed by a bristle worm - hazard of rock turning

International Rock Flipping Day

September 11, 2015

Sunday, September 13, 1025 Update We are on the island of Bonaire, where one dare not touch a rock, even in the gentlest of ways. So, for International Rock Flipping Day, I decided to follow some fishes that are the best at rock flipping: goatfishes. My video contribution starts with a Spotted Goatfish and ends with another species, the Yellow Goatfish. Goatfishes got their common name from a pair of highly sensitive appendages (barbels) just under their chin that they … Read more

Ocellate Box Crab, Calappa ocellata, male grasping a female as she has almost finished molting

Molting Box Crab

September 5, 2015

I am pretty sure these Ocellate Box Crabs (Calappa ocellata) are mating or about to mate. Not to split hairs, but one box crab carrying a smaller box crab around doesn’t necessarily mean we caught them in the act. The female mates when her shell is soft, i.e., when she has just molted. A male, sensing that the female is about to molt may grasp her and carry her around, presumably to make sure no other male sweeps her away. … Read more

Neoclinus sp., possibly N. bryope, Kokeginpo, face - photographed in Hachijojima, Japan

Our Japanese Blenny (Ginpo) Tour

August 8, 2015

July, 2015 ~ Two years ago, our good friend, Dr. Richard Smith (Ocean Realm Images), showed us photos that he took while diving in Japan. The Pinecone fish, a blenny (ginpo) and undescribed Japanese pygmy seahorse (Japa-pigu), caught our imaginations and Ned and I decided then and there that we had to see these fishes for ourselves. Richard kindly set up an entire three-week itinerary for five of us and off we went last month for a dive trip unlike … Read more

Aegires malinus

Anilao Portfolio

July 2, 2015

All I could see was a red speck but our dive guide, Kim Manzano, pointed insistently at what turned out to be a tiny, tiny nudibranch, Aegires malinus. Our trip to the Philippines this past April included a short visit to Anilao, a dive destination known for its macro subjects, including and especially nudibranchs. We are latecomers to the Anilao dive scene – many of our friends have been telling us to visit because the same sorts of fishes and … Read more

Fangblenny with eggs

Fangblenny with Eggs!

June 15, 2015

Dumaguete, Philippines ~ April 2015  A blenny guarding eggs! The last time I spent a dive watching a male blenny guarding a cache of eggs, was in freezing water with 3 feet of vis – in Florida, of all places! Since that dive (see Blenny Fever), I’ve seen quite a few different species of blenny spawn but their eggs are difficult or impossible to see because they tend to lay them in abandoned worm tubes, shells or crevices. I think this … Read more

Fighting sand divers Dauin Philippines

Dumaguete, Philippines ~ 2015

June 1, 2015

Dumaguete, Philippines, April 2015 ~ I am starting this entry with one of Ned’s photos of tube-dwelling amphipods. These creatures were almost my sole focus during our three weeks of diving, first in Dumaguete, then in Anilao. I didn’t realize the extent of my obsession until I started cataloging video and reading my journal entries – yikes! This was our second visit to the Philippines. Our first trip in January 2011 was good – we saw ghost pipefishes, nudibranchs, skeleton … Read more

Redspotted Blenny, Blenniella chrysospilos

Blennies – Fiji Favorites

May 5, 2015

In March, we visited Fiji for the first time since 2005 – ten years – I can’t believe it had been that long! This pretty much made Fiji “new” hunting grounds for me because our last visit was long before the launch of this blog and my quest to see as many blennies as possible. I didn’t see everything I wanted during a week at Lalati Resort and a second week aboard the Nai’a liveaboard dive boat – the Lady … Read more

Mudskipper at Bega Island, Fiji Blennywatcher.com

Blennies and Beans – Fiji Edition

April 6, 2015

March 2015 ~ Blennies and sea beans – two of my favorite things – in the same week.  We’re ending our longest dry spell in years with a short land-based stay in Beqa (pronounced ben-ga) Island, Fiji, before we join friends aboard the Nai’a liveaboard dive boat. There is a very shallow, wide sand shelf here in front of Lalati Resort that is dry at low tide, making for hours of entertaining beach-combing and tide pooling. The wrack along the … Read more

Midas blennies (Ecsenius midas) male - by Ned DeLoach

Oh Blenny! (We struck Gold)

March 7, 2015

Pantar, Indonesia (May 2014)  ~  I just saw a blenny that I don’t recognize and you have to go back to see it.  Ned nodded in assent, barely looking up from his laptop. Our liveaboard dive boat, the Dewi Nusantara, was scheduled to remain in this bay for one more day, so I had the evening to persuade Ned to return to the dive site the next morning instead of exploring another spot. And we had to go back –  … Read more

Melibe megaceras in Lembeh Strait by Ned DeLoach

More Melibe!

February 17, 2015

In May 2012, Ned returned from a dive in Lembeh, Indonesia, with images of this tiny, clear Melibe nudibranch. He had been working the very shallow black sand shelf with our guide, while I was below them at 60 feet, taking video of another, much larger species of Melibe. I was pretty satisfied with my Melibe -until I saw the image of his, which happened to be a species neither of us had ever seen before. I managed to talk … Read more