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 A Shark Egg Case!
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 Lembeh 2015 Portfolio – Part 2
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 Lembeh 2015 Portfolio – Part 1
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 Raja Ampat 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 Blue Heron Bridge Visit
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 Sergeant Major Eggs
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 Anilao Portfolio
Banda Sea, April 2014 ~ This algae covered decorator crab, found by Ned on a night dive off Pantar, Indonesia, is one of my favorite images from our April trip around the Banda Sea. We boarded the Dewi Nusantara in Ambon and dived our way down through and around the southern perimeter of the Banda Sea and across through the Alor region, ending in Flores. And oh, what a trip! Last year, I posted about the little bryozoan goby that … Read more Banda Sea Images
For this week’s Photo Friday: Portrait challenge: It took almost two hours to get this portrait of the tiny Redhead Coralgobies. Learning the nature of a fish is often key to getting a decent image. Coral gobies live deep within branching corals and often take the same path through those branches. Having the luxury of time to spend watching, waiting and positioning usually pays off (but not always).
We are still diving in Indonesia, but now back in Internet range with time to post a few observations. One of my recent favorites is the many different looks of the Masked Grouper, Gracila albomarginata. On a dive in the Banda Sea, I noticed a small fish that I didn’t recognize. It was bright purple with lovely red margins on its anal and tailfins. Another I saw had a light, squarish spot on its side, reminiscent of the purple Square … Read more The Masked Grouper’s Many Looks