Indonesia, May 2017 ~ Ned and Yan were reluctant blenny hunters for sure. Janet Eyre and I informed them that we were changing the afternoon dive plan. We wanted to skip the reef and have the boat drop us near the shore, at the base of an old lava flow, instead. Janet was surveying fish for REEF and I was hunting for blennies. We were on a roll, having added the Sulu Blenny (Meiacanthus abditus) to our life lists just … Read more The Reluctant Blenny Hunters
April 2016 ~ Here’s another one from Triton Bay – we believe it is another species of Bulbonaricus pipefish! It was found in Galaxea coral by our dive guide, Yan Alfian. I think it is Bulbonaricus brucei, but will have to get confirmation once we are home. Unfortunately, I wasn’t anywhere nearby to shoot video, but Ned got the photo and the search continues until I can see one for myself. In our post two weeks ago, I shared Ned’s photo of … Read more Bulbonaricus Pipefishes
Update~January 24, 2015: Lynne’s Pipefish has been formally described as Festucalex rufus. The paper appears in the journal, aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, 21 (1): 47-51: “Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. (2015): Festucalex rufus, a new species of pipefish (Syngnathidae) from Milne Bay Province, Papua New Guinea” April 2013, Indonesia ~ There is great excitement this morning – Claire Davies has surfaced reporting that she has seen “Lynne’s Pipefish”, so now there is no question where we’ll be making the … Read more Lynne’s Pipefish
Two years ago, on a dive site near Alor, Indonesia, I saw a fish I had never seen before. Last month, just over two years from my first sighting, we received word that the fish, collected by our friends, Dr. Gerald Allen and Dr. Mark Erdmann, has received its official name, Cirrhilabrus humanni. This post is about the small role we had in establishing the fish as a newly described species. So, back to the dive two years ago: Descending … Read more Fish Turns Humann!
Bali, Indonesia March 2012 ~ I am certain I just saw a coral move across the sand. I don’t have time to stop because I am swimming rapidly to keep up with Ned and our guide Eddy, but now I’m paying more attention to the individual corallites, scattered over the otherwise empty expanse of black sand. There are hundreds of them, spaced from inches to a few feet apart and when I see a second one move, I have to … Read more Walking Coral
St. Vincent – Oh boy! Another species for our life lists. We recognized the pulsing creature as a jellyfish, but would not have known it was the jellyfish, had we not been alerted to its existence by Bud Gillan, a teaching colleague of Ned’s from years back. Bud, now teaching AP and Honors Biology in South Florida, had been tracking this species for nearly a decade. He showed us a photo of the then undescribed jellyfish when we met up … Read more Bonaire Banded Box Jelly – Tamoya ohboya
Part of getting ready for a dive trip is assembling our “hit list” of species we might encounter. A lot of our luck in finding unusual or rare species comes from knowing in advance, what is even possible. In 1999, on our first trip to Lembeh Strait, Jeremy Barnes showed us a pair of Pegasus Sea Moths, Eurypegasus draconis, puttering around the black sand slope at the dive site, Nudi Retreat. I was totally unprepared – had no idea such … Read more Life List: Slender Sea Moth
Until our friend Jesse Armacost showed us tiny Red Clingfishes living in fire coral on Bonaire, I rarely paid any attention to those corals or what lived in them. Since then I’ve spent the end of many dives looking for tiny cryptic fishes and inverts that live in these typically shallow-water corals, but admit that I still didn’t really pay much attention to the corals themselves. Before I go any further, I should mention that technically, fire corals (milleporids) are … Read more Life List: Millepora striata