Blennywatcher

Caribbean Reef Octopus, Octopus briareus

Night Prowler: Caribbean Reef Octopus

March 22, 2012

Seems like a good day to share some video of a beautiful creature: the Caribbean Reef Octopus, Octopus briareus. Because of its Houdinilike ability to rapidly alter its wealth of chromatophores (pigment-filled skin organs) into a moveable mosaic of delightful patterns coupled with the species’ acrobatic nature, we rank this fine fellow high on our list of favorites. Adding to its allure, the species is only found at night after it emerges from the reef to search for a dinner … Read more

Putting a Wrasse to Bed

March 9, 2012

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

Circus of the Spineless #71

March 5, 2012

  The March edition of the Circus of the Spineless blog carnival is up and the Blennywatcher is pleased to be included. Head over to the Dragonfly Woman‘s site for a selection of of fun invert stuff: Circus of the Spineless # 71

DeLoach - Hermit in a bottle

Hermit in a Bottle

March 1, 2012

Indonesia, 2006 – I have never been fond of night diving – it is dark down there and I spook easily. Our work on the Tropical Pacific invertebrate book was a challenge for me because so many of the cryptic creatures we were hunting come out at night to feed. I was a reluctant night diver but I made it through the four years of fieldwork, often making two dives a night for four weeks at a time. Hermit crabs … Read more

Anemonefish hiding from predatory jack

If I Can’t See You…

February 27, 2012

  Indonesia (2004) – We spent the better part of 4 days in a shallow grass bed watching a shoal of squid mating and laying eggs down in the grass. We could not predict when they would show up and even more frustrating, they would spook and disappear for anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes. This made for a lot of time underwater, just waiting. During the long waits, I amused myself by watching an anemonefish bury itself into its host anemone … Read more

Fish Grows New Tail

February 25, 2012

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

Hatching Sea Turtles

February 23, 2012

  August 2007, Bonaire – We had just arrived on the island when the call came from our dear friend TC Panecaldo. She knew we had just checked into Buddy Dive, our home for the next five weeks, but would we like to see hatching turtles? A friend from Sea Turtle Conservation Bonaire was monitoring a nest and was willing to let us ride over to Klein Bonaire but we would have to leave right away to make it in … Read more

From the Archives: Humann Turns Fishh

February 20, 2012

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

Radiant Sea Urchins Spawning

February 18, 2012

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

Juvenile frogfish on a sea star

Ride ‘Em Frogfish!

February 12, 2012

    Sulawesi, Indonesia – Ned was working on a slide presentation, so I buddied up with our friend Jessica Hatsfelt for the afternoon dive. The boat moored in the center of a small sandy bay that had very little in the way of critter habitat – only an occasional small patch of sea grass. Hanny, our Eco Divers guide, led us over the sand and along a slope, pausing for a pipefish and nudibranch or two until we ended … Read more