One of our favorite suggestions for fish watchers in the Caribbean is to look for small one-to four-inch Slender Filefish, Monacanthus tuckeri, hiding out within gorgonian bushes, where they shelter from predators, feed, and even more delightful, sleep or rest at night by biting down on polyps for stability – especially helpful when the current runs. This behavior turns out to be a common family trait. In the Caribbean, we have also observed the Whitespotted Filefish, Cantherhines macrocerus, Orangespotted Filefish, … Read more In the Grip of Sleep
April 2016 ~ We’re on shore in Kaimana, a small port in eastern Indonesia, awaiting reprovisioning of our dive boat, Dewi Nusantara, before we head back to Triton Bay for another 11 days of diving. We woke yesterday morning to a splendid sunrise, seven hornbills overhead and a feeling that our last dives of this first trip were going to be special. And they were. The little pipefish above is one we have wanted to see for a long time. … Read more Triton Bay!
Pantar, Indonesia (May 2014) ~ I just saw a blenny that I don’t recognize and you have to go back to see it. Ned nodded in assent, barely looking up from his laptop. Our liveaboard dive boat, the Dewi Nusantara, was scheduled to remain in this bay for one more day, so I had the evening to pursuade Ned to return to the dive site the next morning instead of exploring another spot. And we had to go back – … Read more Oh Blenny! (We struck Gold)
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
We are in Bonaire and on a blenny hunt! I’m calling it the Bonaire Blenny Challenge. This is the start of our five-week stay, as resident naturalists, at Buddy Dive Resort. In addition to presenting slide shows and diving with fellow underwater enthusiasts, we have many opportunities to explore on our own and I always try to set some goals for the month. One year we set out to record a jawfish releasing its hatching eggs; last year it was … Read more Bonaire Blenny Challenge
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 Nudibranch Eating Nudibranch
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 Photo Friday: Structure
Ever since I attended REEF’s free online Fishinar about hamlets, presented by talented instructor/photographer Jonathan Lavan (his Underpressure photo blog ) I’ve intended to read up on the latest about hamlets. They are one of my other favorite groups of fishes (it’s not always about blennies) so I thought I’d share. Hamlets are a genus of small reef fish in the seabass family Serranidae found in western Atlantic, Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico waters. The first time we ever saw … Read more Hamlet Update
Last month, Wetpixel.com featured a gallery of Ned’s underwater photographs in its Full Frame feature. It was fun to select them from our favorites of the past two years and Ned enjoyed annotating them with comments. In our introduction to Full Frame, it was announced that we would be writing a monthly column for Wetpixel, called the BlennyWatcher Diary. Wetpixel is an online site featuring underwater photography and videography and has been a good friend to BlennyWatcher, sharing occasional stories … Read more Blennywatcher on Wetpixel