June 2012 ~ We are blogging from the center of Lembeh Strait, Indonesia this week. When I say we are in the center of the Strait, that is where we are, literally – out on Eco Divers’ day boat, posting through the miracle of Wi-Fi. This pinhead sized shrimp, photographed by Wendy McIlroy, exemplifies the reason we keep returning to Lembeh. Ned and I made our first dive here in 1999 and since, have made the 44-hour trip from our … Read more Lembeh Fish & Critter Hunt – Week One
Two years ago, on a dive site near Alor, Indonesia, I saw a fish I had never seen before. Last month, just over two years from my first sighting, we received word that the fish, collected by our friends, Dr. Gerald Allen and Dr. Mark Erdmann, has received its official name, Cirrhilabrus humanni. This post is about the small role we had in establishing the fish as a newly described species. So, back to the dive two years ago: Descending … Read more Fish Turns Humann!
May 9, 2012 ~ Ned and I are very excited to be participating in REEF’s free online Fishinar series tonight. REEF, the Reef Environmental Education Foundation, offers some wonderful outreach programs for scuba divers, snorkelers and fish enthusiasts but we think the Fishinars, a.k.a. webinars are the coolest yet. Tonight’s program, “Speed Dating Fishy Style: How Fish Spawn and When You’re Likely to Catch Them in the Act”, will highlight many of Ned’s unique fish behavior photographs. If you read … Read more BlennyWatchers Live!
Pantar, Indonesia, 2006 – I have said it many times: Not a fan of night diving. Our liveaboard dive boat was anchored in Beangabang Bay and only three of us, plus our guide, Made, were diving. Several years earlier, I had seen a pearlfish during a night dive in Lembeh Strait, but it was at the very end of a two-hour dive so all I got was a 3 second clip before the camera battery expired. I spotted this one … Read more Cool Fish Video: Pearlfish
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
Bonaire – I needed video of schools of fish to illustrate a teaching point for a REEF fish identification class so we headed to a site with known schools of Smallmouth Grunts, Haemulon chrysargyreum. The grunts normally drift sedately in small schools but today there seemed to be a troublemaker in the group. Every time I approached, one fish would panic and send the whole school fleeing. When I looked up from my viewfinder, I realized the culprit was a … Read more Fish Grows New Tail
Part of getting ready for a dive trip is assembling our “hit list” of species we might encounter. A lot of our luck in finding unusual or rare species comes from knowing in advance, what is even possible. In 1999, on our first trip to Lembeh Strait, Jeremy Barnes showed us a pair of Pegasus Sea Moths, Eurypegasus draconis, puttering around the black sand slope at the dive site, Nudi Retreat. I was totally unprepared – had no idea such … Read more Life List: Slender Sea Moth
Under the Laha dock in Ambon is not the most scenic dive site in the world, but what an amazing place for critter watching. This seahorse, pointed out by my friend Wendy McIlroy, looked like it was eating a nudibranch. Theoretically nudibranchs exhibit aposematic coloration, bright colors that warn would-be predators that they are toxic or distasteful, but maybe this seahorse was colorblind. Once I settled down and focused, it was obvious that the little flabellina wasn’t breakfast – it … Read more TGIF – Those Pesky Nudibranchs
It’s taking me twice as long as necessary to pull video for a project because other cool shots keep distracting me. I’m in the January 2006 archives and just ran across footage of a very tiny undescribed goby (calm down, we like all small fish – even gobies), a Callogobius sp. that I had forgotten all about. In Pictorial Guide to Indonesian Reef Fishes (Kuiter and Tonozuka), it is given the common name, Mini Mud-Goby. Known from Borneo and Indonesia … Read more Fishwatching: An Undescribed Goby
REEF recently released the Lionfish Cookbook. All proceeds of the sale go to the organization’s Invasive Lionfish Program. The cookbook is co-authored by Lad Akins, Reef’s Director of Special Projects and Chef Tricia Ferguson with photos by photographer David Stone. Joanne Kidd designed the book and did the graphic layout work. We collect cookbooks; some because we love to bake and some because the foodie in us can’t resist. The BlennyWatcher took particular interest in this project because good friend … Read more Eat ’em to beat ’em