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 Ceram Blenny Eggs
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 Revenge of the Frogfish
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 The Great Escape … Sometimes
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 Ambon to Triton Bay
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 Fangblenny with Eggs!
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 Dumaguete, Philippines ~ 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 pursuade Ned to return to the dive site the next morning instead of exploring another spot. And we had to go back – … Read more Oh Blenny! (We struck Gold)
Recently, during a get-together of diver friends, the subject of parrotfish cocoons came up – I don’t remember why – and surprisingly, several said they had never seen a parrotfish sleeping in a mucous cocoon. After thinking about it, Ned and I realized that in all the hundreds of night dives we’d made, we had only seen it maybe a half dozen times. We encountered it for the first time in the mid-90s off Key Largo while waiting for the … Read more Parrotfish Cocoon
This is our entry for this week’s Photo Friday Challenge: Twilight. Spawning hamlets can be seen at twilight. This is an interesting time on the reef – daytime fishes have bedded down and the night-time feeders haven’t yet emerged from their hiding places. A few fishes, like the normally solitary hamlets, take advantage of the low light (presumably to avoid predators) and pair up at twilight to spawn. Ned calls it the best peep show on the reef.
We see fish yawn fairly often, but have to be in the right place at the right time to capture the behavior. In Papua New Guinea, this Lacy Rhinopias, a member of the scorpionfish family, was on the same coral head every day for a week so everyone had a chance to photograph it from every angle. Ned saw it yawn from a distance and knew he wanted that head-on shot, so he went back and sat for quite a … Read more Yawning Fishes