Marine life behavior

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!

Nudibranch eats a nudibranch Anna DeLoach BlennyWatcher.com

Nudibranch Eating Nudibranch

July 22, 2013

April 2013 – A nudibranch eating nudibranch – this one gives me the heebie jeebies.  I know many divers who go crazy over nudibranchs the way we go crazy for blennies. Nudibranchs belong to the phylum Mollusca and share a subclass, Opisthobranchia, commonly called sea slugs. Many are beautifully colored and some are very cryptic, mimicking the things they feed upon, like coral or sponges. Brightly colored nudibranchs really stand out to us in the muck or rubble bottoms that … Read more Nudibranch Eating Nudibranch

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

Molly Miller spawning Ned DeLoach BlennyWatcher.com

Hello Molly!

June 19, 2013

Universal Truth of Blenny Watching #1: The desirability of the blenny is inversely proportional to the conditions in which one must dive to see/photograph it. Longhorn Blenny? High on our list and took two 90-minute dives in surge to get the shots (see last year’s post here). A blenny with eggs? Seaweed blennies are pretty common in Florida, but the Seaweed Blenny with eggs was in 72-degree water with 3-foot visibility (see that post here). So why would I even … Read more Hello Molly!

Ctenophore captures and engulfs fish Ned DeLoach BlennyWatcher.com

Death by Ctenophore

May 21, 2013

March 2013, Halmahera, Indonesia ~ Oh no! Right before my eyes, my beloved benthic ctenophores, so delicate and colorful, have metamorphosed from gentle plankton netters to smothering killers of fishes and crabs! Drifting over a black rubble slope off Makian, our guide Yann Alfian points out a ctenophore-covered starfish. During our October trip around Batanta aboard the Dewi Nusantara, Yann asked me why I was spending so much time looking at these things on the starfish. I explained that these … Read more Death by Ctenophore

Nudibranch on Xenia coral Ned DeLoach BlennyWatcher.com

Another Coral Mimic

April 27, 2013

April 2013, Halmahera, Indonesia ~ More soft coral mimics! Back in November, I posted a video of a nudibranch, Phyllodesmium rudmani, that mimics the soft coral, Xenia, upon which it feeds (click here to see the previous post). Ned wasn’t with me on that dive so last month, during our cruise through Halmahera aboard the Dewi Nusantara, our guide Yann made sure Ned saw this different species of nudibranch, which I think is Phyllodesmium jakobsenae, another predator of soft coral. … Read more Another Coral Mimic

Juvenile Soapfish Ned DeLoach BlennyWatcher.com

Soapfish Tales

April 20, 2013

March 2013 – Waigeo, Indonesia In October 2012, I found a tiny fish that I couldn’t identify. It was wary, darting into a small hole when I got too close. I shot video, noted the location and on the afternoon dive, navigated back to it so Ned and several others could take photographs. Back on the boat we decided, based on its body shape and distinctive dorsal fin that it had to be a juvenile Doublebanded Soapfish (Diploprion bifasciatum). Other … Read more Soapfish Tales

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

Carry crab w:banana Ned DeLoach BlennyWatcher.com

Carry On, Carry Crab

March 29, 2013

I love carry crabs! These little crabs of the family Dorippidae, have modified back legs that they use to grip things, living or inanimate, to disguise themselves. Last month, I posted video of one that I saw years ago, stumbling around with a live, writhing nudibranch. In 1999, on a night dive in Lembeh Strait Indonesia, I saw a tissue box run across the sand. I knew nothing about “carry” crabs at the time but laughed out loud when our … Read more Carry On, Carry Crab