Fish Behavior

Spawning fangblenny Blennywatcher.com

Spawning Fangblennies

August 13, 2012

On our recent trip to Bali, I added a new blenny species to my Blennywatcher life list and observed what we are sure was spawning. Excited by my initial sighting, I chased a little Smith’s Fangblenny, Meiacanthus smithi, down the reef, where to my surprise, it joined a milling group, whose attention seemed to be focused on a blenny peeking out of a hole. The blenny in the hole would emerge, gently lunge at one of the group and swim … Read more Spawning Fangblennies

Juvenile Emperor Snappers in Lembeh Strait

All Snappers, All the Time

May 16, 2012

Lembeh Strait, Indonesia  ~ Juvenile Red Emperor Snappers, Lutjanus sebae, are not that uncommon here – we almost always find a few tiny juveniles nestled down in the spines of the Radiant Sea Urchins. They shelter there until they are ready to move to deep water to live out their lives as much larger and less colorful adults. In 2006, we were lucky enough to find a small group that had grown enough to start venturing out  from the protection … Read more All Snappers, All the Time

Juvenile sole, Soleichthys maculosus

Mimicry: The Sole and the Flatworm

May 7, 2012

Bali, Indonesia – March 2012  We have this image of a lovely juvenile sole thanks to our friend Mark Willis who found it on a muck slope while the rest of us were photographing nudibranchs and a cool blenny. He had shown it to Ned and several others in our group but by the time I got there, it was lost. Mark showed me the image on the back screen of his digital camera; my pantomimed  “knife to my heart” … Read more Mimicry: The Sole and the Flatworm

Graysby, Cephalopholis cruentata

Grumpy Graysbys

April 15, 2012

Graysbys are small Caribbean seabasses that are fairly solitary. We noticed that they are much more active during the same week that the corals spawn and it is a good time to see fighting fish action. Some times they lunged at each other, sometimes they just stared each other down, then one or the other would take off to join a waiting fish, presumably a female. We were fairly certain the battles were territorial wars connected to spawning activities, but … Read more Grumpy Graysbys

Juvenile French Angelfish

Cute Fish Video: French Angelfish

April 8, 2012

  Bonaire, 2008 – The juvenile French Angelfish, Pomacanthus paru, had taken up residence in a piece of wreckage, turning the unsightly structure into a cleaning station – a location that fish know they can visit to have parasites removed. Shrimps and fishes that make their living picking parasites and injured tissue from other fish are known as cleaners. We knelt in the sand for about half an hour, watching bar jacks buzz in for a quick visit. The angelfish … Read more Cute Fish Video: French Angelfish

Yellowhead Jawfish releases hatching eggs ©2012 Ned DeLoach

Hatching Jawfish!

March 25, 2012

Bonaire, 2009 – A jawfish releasing its eggs – we finally got the shot – and it only took fifteen years! We fell in love with jawfish back in 1995 when we were working on the Reef Fish Behavior book. In fact, the first magazine article that Ned and I wrote together for Ocean Realm magazine was about Yellowhead Jawfish, Opistognathus aurifrons (a scanned copy of the 1995 article is available here.)  We wrote an article about jawfishes in the … Read more Hatching Jawfish!

Striped Catfish, Plotosus lineatus, Bluespotted Trevally, Caranx bucculentus ©2012 Ned DeLoach

A Case of Mimicry: Jacks with Catfish

March 18, 2012

Lembeh Strait, Indonesia, March 2011 – I recently posted about my love/obsession with Striped Catfish, Plotosus lineatus. The video that accompanies that post includes clips of soapfish, jacks and even a lionfish feeding alongside the rolling ball of catfish; taking advantage of the disturbance. Ned just rolls his eyes whenever he sees me following yet another swarm. That’s why I was surprised when one of our dive buddies came flying down the reef, gesturing for me to swim back toward … Read more A Case of Mimicry: Jacks with Catfish

Midnight Parrotfish gather at dusk

Parrotfish Hotel

March 15, 2012

Last evening I participated in an awesome REEF Fishinar, entitled “Perplexing Parrotfish.” These free online classes, taught by REEF instructors, range from basic fish identification to more advanced topics like cryptic Caribbean species. The class inspired me to pull up some footage from an interesting parrotfish observation that we saw in Bimini in 1995, then again in 2008 in Key Largo. In a previous post I described wrasses diving into the sand at dusk to bed down for the night. That … Read more Parrotfish Hotel

Putting a Wrasse to Bed

March 9, 2012

Bimini, 1995 – I noticed something unusual – a group of Yellowhead Wrasse (Halichoeres garnoti), including several normally solitary terminal phase males swimming together in a tight little group near the bottom. We were making a dusk dive at Turtle Rocks, looking for fish spawning action. We had already spent many afternoons watching the Yellowheads spawn. This little group was swimming with purpose, but it didn’t look like spawning. They swam a regular pattern for over twenty minutes, visiting several … Read more Putting a Wrasse to Bed

Anemonefish hiding from predatory jack

If I Can’t See You…

February 27, 2012

  Indonesia (2004) – We spent the better part of 4 days in a shallow grass bed watching a shoal of squid mating and laying eggs down in the grass. We could not predict when they would show up and even more frustrating, they would spook and disappear for anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes. This made for a lot of time underwater, just waiting. During the long waits, I amused myself by watching an anemonefish bury itself into its host anemone … Read more If I Can’t See You…