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
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
In 1995, our good friends, Patricia and Richard Collins, published Volume 2 of Sort of Diver, A Sport Diving Lampoon. It was a pretty funny send-up of the dive magazines of the day, complete with advertisements for indispensable products like Camel Spit Defog and articles like “In-depth Buyer’s Guide to Snorkel Holders.” We spent many hilarious evenings around the dinner table at Paul Humann’s house listening to their latest ideas for SOD. We were all invited to participate and nothing … Read more
Lembeh Strait, Indonesia (2007) – I was at the end of a 2-hour dive, off-gassing in about 10 feet of water and struggling to stay in place in the sudden, brisk current. I saw several juvenile Red Emperor Snappers, Lutjanus sebae bolt for a gathering of Radiant Sea Urchins, Astropyga radiata, which is not unusual since the snappers, when they are much smaller, are often found living within the spines of theses urchins. Then I noticed the urchins were spawning! … Read more
Lembeh Strait, Indonesia – I am a sucker for Striped Catfish, Plotosus lineatus. Their schooling and feeding behavior is mesmerizing and I follow these fish so often that I am teased about my magnum opus, Catfish, the Movie (to which of course I turn a deaf ear.) Juvenile Striped Catfish form dense balls that are often seen “rolling” over the substrate. The fish at the leading edge of the aggregation feed, as those above roll down over them. They can … Read more
The BlennyWatcher is very pleased to be included in the February edition of the Circus of the Spineless blog carnival. This latest edition is hosted over at Beasts in a Populous City, where a wonderfully diverse assortment of blog posts about invertebrates have been woven together for your reading enjoyment. This is the happening place to get a good armchair dose of spineless nature. Click over and enjoy.
A few months ago Ned and I spent a week hanging out with Denise and Ken Nedimyer, founders of the Coral Restoration Foundation, based in Key Largo (you can read a short article and watch the video we made in 2008 after a visit to their coral garden in the Florida Keys), Their coral surveying trip to Bonaire coincided with our annual stay at Buddy Dive, so for a few days our morning coffee discussions switched from fish to coral. … Read more
The blenny is our poster fish but we love all fish, even the big ones; we just don’t talk about them as much. We blog about whatever strikes the BlennyWatcher’s fancy – fishwatching, SCUBA diving, travel – our topics are happily all over the place. It may take us a while to settle into this new blog home but we’re excited about sharing our adventures with you! We celebrate the launch of this blog by introducing Blenny Week, videos created … Read more