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.
An opportunistic Black Grouper steals the show at a Bahamas shark feeding dive by snapping up the chumsicle.
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
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
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.
Lembeh Strait, March 2018 ~ Our visit to Lembeh was short this time – we stopped over for a week on our way to Triton Bay – so I concentrated on things like comparing populations of blennies on certain sites, with what we’d seen during our extended September-October stay, just four months ago. One of my favorite blennies in Lembeh is the very large Ceram Blenny, Salarias ceramensis. Over the years, we’d run into an occasional five or six-inch individual … Read more
The principal of this piece is the most photographed frogfish living in the land of frogfish—Lembeh Strait, Indonesia. She’s a large, pregnant Painted Frogfish, the size of a grapefruit, that happens to be white—an unusual and conspicuous coloring for a typically unobtrusive lie-in-wait predator. Making the reluctant luminary even more obvious, she picked a perch high on the mooring line where everybody in the Strait with a camera can easily find her. Adding a splendid touch to the already remarkable … Read more
Lembeh Strait, Indonesia ~ Chances are if you’re going to see a fish eat another fish, the assailant will turn out to be a lizardfish. These missile-shaped, lie-in-wait predators typically perch on the bottom with their primitive tooth-lined jaws aimed in the direction of a busy aggregation of potential prey, such as damselfish. And there they rest as still as stones waiting for an opportune moment to strike. If all goes right, a rocket attack ends with a bite-sized victim … Read more
April 2016 ~ It had been nearly a decade since we last sailed into Triton Bay—an unspoiled, mountain-lined piece of paradise in far eastern Indonesia. On that 2007 trip, we departed out of Sorong and dived our way south and along the Fak-Fak peninsula before arriving in the fabled bay. This time, we sailed from Ambon to Triton Bay aboard the Dewi Nusantara, just one of several live-aboards that have recently added the remote destination back on their itinerary. Diving … Read more
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