Lembeh

Ornate Spiny Lobster Panulirus ornatus Ned DeLoach Blennywatcher.com

Lobster Face

November 13, 2013

It seems that every one of Anna’s and my favorite photos comes with a story attached. Our encounter with a night-prowling lobster is one of my favorites. It took place a few years back in Lembeh Strait, Indonesia where we were spending most of our time diving after dark searching for new crabs and other critters to include in Reef Creature Identification—Tropical Pacific. Our guide, Liberty Tukunang, and I slipped away from Anna and her bug-buzzing video lights to explore … Read more Lobster Face

Harlequin Shrimp Pair Ned DeLoach BlennyWatcher.com

Harlequin Shrimp at Work

April 8, 2013

I love the way Harlequin Shrimp move – their little abdomens waggle – like bobbleheads in reverse – bobblebutts! And the  “wax on – wax off” movement with their claws – too cute! However, once you get past their looks, it gets a little gruesome because Harlequin Shrimp are voracious predators of starfish. I say gruesome because they don’t put a quick kill on them. No, they flip the starfish over so it can’t walk away then proceed to consume … Read more Harlequin Shrimp at Work

Broadbarred Coral Goby Ned DeLoach Blenny Watcher Blog

Lembeh Fish & Critter Hunt – Week Two

June 22, 2012

June 2012 ~ Earlier this week I posted photos from the first week of our Lembeh Fish & Critter Hunt with Eco Divers Resort Lembeh. We sadly said goodbye to our friends from the Octopus Army and greeted a new crowd for Week 2 and wow, another super adventure! The group embraced the hit list of 30 animals with gusto and with the help of our superb dive guides, most had checked off the entire list by mid-week. One of … Read more Lembeh Fish & Critter Hunt – Week Two

Siphopteron Ned DeLoach Blenny Watcher Blog

Lembeh Fish & Critter Hunt – Week One

June 16, 2012

June 2012 ~ We are blogging from the center of Lembeh Strait, Indonesia this week. When I say we are in the center of the Strait, that is where we are, literally – out on Eco Divers’ day boat, posting through the miracle of  Wi-Fi. This pinhead sized shrimp, photographed by Wendy McIlroy, exemplifies the reason we keep returning to Lembeh. Ned and I made our first dive here in 1999 and since, have made the 44-hour trip from our … Read more Lembeh Fish & Critter Hunt – Week One

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 Hermit in a Bottle

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 Radiant Sea Urchins Spawning

Observations: Striped Catfish

February 16, 2012

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 Observations: Striped Catfish

Coconut Octopus shot in Lembeh Strait, Indonesia

Archives: Coconut Octopus

January 26, 2012

In the field, I scout for rare or unusual animals for Ned to photograph for our magazine articles. I use a video camera to record their behavior for later analysis and over the years have ended up with hours and hours of footage. From 2005 – 2009, our Scuba Diving Magazine column, “Encounters”, was accompanied by short videos that were available on ScubaDiving.com. Over the next few months, we’re going to post our favorites from that series. For two weeks … Read more Archives: Coconut Octopus

Search Image: Sleeping Filefish

January 17, 2012

We’re starting Search Image, a series of posts that are inspired by magazine articles we’ve written over the years. When biologists use the term search image they are usually referring to the sensory signs like smell, sound and visuals that predators are wired in to (my unscientific phrase) when searching for prey. As photographers and fish surveyors we develop our own search images for a certain creature or behavior, usually after having seen it for the first time, or after becoming … Read more Search Image: Sleeping Filefish

I See You, Wonderpus!

January 9, 2012

We followed the Wonderpus octopus (Wunderpus photogenicus) for most of our hour-long dive. Occasionally it would disappear down an impossibly small hole and emerge a few minutes later. Was it was after prey or trying to elude us? We suspected prey because it didn’t seem very concerned by our presence. In my video, (at the end of this post) a shrimp goby attacks the octopus as it approaches the goby’s burrow. The octopus was undeterred and emerged from the goby’s … Read more I See You, Wonderpus!