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
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!
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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