fishwatching

Tessellated Blenny Female by Ned DeLoach

The Most Photographed Tessellated Blenny in the World

September 23, 2014

This is the most photographed Tessellated Blenny in the world and likely the most observed. I am certain of this. I spent hours with this fish and its reefmates –  I think I might have been obsessed. A few days after we arrived on Bonaire for our annual 5-week stay, our friends Allison and Carlos Estape (fellow fish surveyors) stopped by and told us about a site that had Tessellated Blennies (Hypsoblennius invemar) living in the barnacle shells. An abandoned, submerged mooring … Read more The Most Photographed Tessellated Blenny in the World

Blenny in a bottle - Petroscirtes breviceps

Fangs!

July 27, 2014

This is why they are called Fangblennies! Dr. William Smith-Vaniz’s 1976 monograph, The Saber-toothed Blennies, Tribe Nemophini, was a must-read when we started diving in the Indo-Pacific many years ago, but it was the cover of his publication (see below) showing the recurved canine teeth of the lower jaw, that turned these cute little reef fish into the stuff of nightmares and inspired my quest to see them for myself. Saber-toothed, a.k.a., fangblennies, with the exception of one species in … Read more Fangs!

Masked Grouper juvenile, Gracila albomarginata

The Masked Grouper’s Many Looks

May 28, 2014

We are still diving in Indonesia, but now back in Internet range with time to post a few observations. One of my recent favorites is the many different looks of the Masked Grouper, Gracila albomarginata. On a dive in the Banda Sea, I noticed a small fish that I didn’t recognize. It was bright purple with lovely red margins on its anal and tailfins. Another I saw had a light, squarish spot on its side, reminiscent of the purple Square … Read more The Masked Grouper’s Many Looks

Crabeye Goby, Signigobius biocellatus Ned DeLoach Blennywatcher.com

More Fishy Cuteness: The Signal Goby

December 23, 2013

Here is your dose of fishy cuteness: The Signal Goby, a.k.a., Crabeye Goby, a.k.a., Twinspot Goby. Not only fun to watch, this fish has some pretty curious reproductive behavior, as we learned a few years ago.  Signigobius biocellatus feeds by sand-sifting so we find them just off reefs or near shorelines in silty, nutrient-rich sand. We have seen them from Palau through Indonesia, so they aren’t really rare, but their populations are certainly not dense. Almost always found in pairs, … Read more More Fishy Cuteness: The Signal Goby

Emblemariopsis Rotating Eyes Ned DeLoach BlennyWatcher.com

Double Take!

September 28, 2013

And a double take is just what I did when the big round eyes of this Shorthead Blenny rolled onto Ned’s laptop screen. Something wasn’t quite right with the picture so I took a second look and the image fell into place: The tiny blenny’s googly eyes were rotated backwards staring directly behind the fish’s head at Ned’s approaching camera port—a vision of visual dexterity that would make any blenny lover proud. Ned’s preoccupation with backward focused blenny eyes began … Read more Double Take!

Hairy Blenny Ned DeLoach BlennyWatcher.com

Blenny Challenge Week 5

September 20, 2013

We found it – the Tessellated Blenny – a great way to end week 5 of our Bonaire Blenny Challenge! Ned teased me for telling the world that we were looking for this fish because he had lost faith in finding it. Although I received reports of previous sightings, all we found were Orangespotted blennies, fish that look similar at first glance. Our friend Ellen Muller took it upon herself to make inquiries and sent me a detailed list of … Read more Blenny Challenge Week 5

Medusa Blenny Acanthemblemaria medusa Ned DeLoach BlennyWatcher.com

Blenny Challenge Week 2

September 1, 2013

We just wrapped up week 2 of the Bonaire Blenny Challenge and we are on a roll! Following a suggestion from our friend, Bonaire naturalist Jerry Ligon, we visited his home reef, Bari and scored with an Orange-spotted Blenny, Hypleurochilus springeri. We first dived with Jerry on a REEF Field survey back in the ’90s and he is still one of the best sources on the island for fish and bird watching (check out his Biological Tours of Bonaire). On … Read more Blenny Challenge Week 2

Short Bigeye juvenile Ned DeLoach BlennyWatcher.com

Blue Heron Juveniles

July 26, 2013

Ned just posted a lot of his images from the past few years’ dives at the Blue Heron Bridge in Riviera Beach Florida over on our other blog, MarineLifeBlog.  It includes several juvenile fishes, so I thought I’d post a couple of them, along with photos of what they look like as adults. Some juvenile fishes look just like miniature versions of the adults; the Great Barracuda and Bandtail Puffer come to mind. Others, like many damselfishes and angelfishes, look … Read more Blue Heron Juveniles

Swimming Melibe nudibranch from Ambon Ned DeLoach BlennyWatcher.com

Photo Friday: Activity

July 26, 2013

Photo Friday: Activity is the challenge this week. Our favorite activity underwater is “critter hunting” – the search for unusual fish and invertebrates.  Finding cool critters like this crocodile fish above and the rare melibe nudibranch below are what keep us diving.

Spawning hamlets Ned DeLoach BlennyWatcher.com

Hamlet Update

July 15, 2013

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