Bonaire, September 2015 ~ Although our tally shows that we saw a number of species spawning last month, the September coral spawning event was just not very robust compared to past years (others who dive regularly in Bonaire agree). One of the things I had on my wish list was spawning Flower Coral, Eusmilia fastigiata, but this year, I never managed to catch any in the act of spawning. I have footage from our observations in previous years but I had … Read more Spawning Flower Coral
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
I am pretty sure these Ocellate Box Crabs (Calappa ocellata) are mating or about to mate. Not to split hairs, but one box crab carrying a smaller box crab around doesn’t necessarily mean we caught them in the act. The female mates when her shell is soft, i.e., when she has just molted. A male, sensing that the female is about to molt may grasp her and carry her around, presumably to make sure no other male sweeps her away. … Read more Molting Box Crab
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
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
In May 2012, Ned returned from a dive in Lembeh, Indonesia, with images of this tiny, clear Melibe nudibranch. He had been working the very shallow black sand shelf with our guide, while I was below them at 60 feet, taking video of another, much larger species of Melibe. I was pretty satisfied with my Melibe -until I saw the image of his, which happened to be a species neither of us had ever seen before. I managed to talk … Read more More Melibe!
Lembeh Strait Indonesia, May 2014 ~ What if you carried your home around with you – one that you built yourself – what shape would it be? If you were a worm, then I guess a tube would make sense. I watched the tiny, one-and-a-half-inch, onuphid worm in its clear tube, struggling to negotiate the clumps of algae that covered the black sand slope: stretch forward and grab something, pause, yank the tube forward, feel around, reach sideways and grab … Read more The Turning Worm – Hyalinoecia sp.
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 the past two weeks, we challenged you to test your identification skills on invertebrate close-ups from the Indo-Pacific. As promised, here is a Caribbean invertebrate quiz. These images are close-ups of invertebrates that are found in the waters of the tropical western Atlantic and Caribbean. Click on each image to reveal the entire animal: Hope you have enjoyed these past few posts – we’ll be back with more from time to time ~ the Blennywatchers