Spineless

Banggai Cardinalfish Lembeh Strait Ned DeLoach Blennywatcher.com

Why We Love Lembeh

February 4, 2014

In 1999, on our first trip to Lembeh Strait, Indonesia, we were introduced to dives unlike any we’d ever experienced. No colorful coral reefs here – this was “muck diving” – a new concept to us. Dropping down into greenish water to behold a wide-open expanse of nothing but black sand was almost enough to send many of us scurrying back to the boat. But it had taken us 44 hours and 5 flights to get here, so we stuck … Read more

Anchor Tuskfish, Choerodon anchorago, Ned DeLoach, Blennywatcher.com

More Blennywatcher 2013 Favorites

January 3, 2014

Here are a few more favorite Blennywatcher images from 2013. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you will already have seen most of our favorite images, but some didn’t make into a post and others were published earlier this year in Alert Diver, Scuba Diving or Wetpixel. So, we’re ringing in the New Year with a few more photos from 2013, starting with this Anchor Tuskfish displaying quite a mouthful of teeth. The menacing look is quite … Read more

Juvenile Naso Ned DeLoach BlennyWatcher.com

Portraits from Palau

November 27, 2013

Ned went diving last month in Palau, a destination we had long wanted to visit. I had to change plans at the last minute and stay home with my parents so I missed out on the trip but we are counting Ned’s visit as a recon for a future visit when we can both go. This week on Blenny Watcher we share some of my favorite images from his visit. They range from a speck of an algae shrimp to… … Read more

fire urchin

Photo Friday: Fiery

November 22, 2013

Fire urchins, belonging to the genus Asthenosoma, are  found throughout the Indo Pacific, typically on mucky bottoms. Their spines are venomous and though not lethal, brushing against one accidentally can result in an extremely painful and “fiery” wound.

Ornate Spiny Lobster Panulirus ornatus Ned DeLoach Blennywatcher.com

Lobster Face

November 13, 2013

It seems that every one of Anna’s and my favorite photos comes with a story attached. Our encounter with a night-prowling lobster is one of my favorites. It took place a few years back in Lembeh Strait, Indonesia where we were spending most of our time diving after dark searching for new crabs and other critters to include in Reef Creature Identification—Tropical Pacific. Our guide, Liberty Tukunang, and I slipped away from Anna and her bug-buzzing video lights to explore … Read more

Pelagic Ctenophore at night Ned DeLoach BlennyWatcher.com

Photo Friday: Swift

November 3, 2013

This week’s Photo Friday challenge is “Swift”, as in what one must be in order to capture a jelly plankton drifter, at night, in a current. Ned took this shot on an open water night drift dive through Ambon Harbor, Indonesia. Although he was drifting with the current, most of the animals were swimming and moving much faster than he could. He shoots with manual focus, which adds to the difficulty.

Carry crab with sea pen Anna DeLoach BlennyWatcher.com

Sea Pen’s Ultimate Insult

October 24, 2013

A few months ago I posted about Carry Crabs, little crabs of the family Dorippidae that have modified back legs that they use to grip things, living or inanimate, to disguise themselves. Carry Crabs don’t appear to be fussy – one of the first I ever saw was carrying a live nudibranch. Anyway, my Carry Crab post included this screen capture of a crab toting an unlucky sea pen and I have to say that I think being uprooted and … Read more

West Indian Chank Egg Case BlennyWatcher.com

Hatching Chanks

July 31, 2013

This will likely not excite any but the anoraks amongst us: Last week in Utila, I witnessed hatching West Indian Chanks (I was excited) and I can report that they are as slow when hatching as they are as adults moving across the sand. Although the word chank is often used interchangeably with conch, chanks are gastropods belonging to the family Turbinellidae, while true conchs are in the family Strombidae. Over the years, we have received several inquires about a strange … Read more

Nudibranch eats a nudibranch Anna DeLoach BlennyWatcher.com

Nudibranch Eating Nudibranch

July 22, 2013

April 2013 – A nudibranch eating nudibranch – this one gives me the heebie jeebies.  I know many divers who go crazy over nudibranchs the way we go crazy for blennies. Nudibranchs belong to the phylum Mollusca and share a subclass, Opisthobranchia, commonly called sea slugs. Many are beautifully colored and some are very cryptic, mimicking the things they feed upon, like coral or sponges. Brightly colored nudibranchs really stand out to us in the muck or rubble bottoms that … Read more

Walking Coral - Sipunculid Worm Ned DeLoach BlennyWatcher.com

Photo Friday: Structure

July 16, 2013

This is my entry for the Photo Friday: Structure challenge. This is an interesting relationship between the coral and sipunculid worm. A coral larva settles on a shell already occupied by a sipunculid worm. The coral grows over the shell, leaving an opening on the bottom for the worm. The worm feeds through the hole and drags the coral structure around, righting it if it gets turned over in the soft sediment. If you are interested in reading more, take … Read more