saltwater

Bats Anna DeLoach BlennyWatcher.com

Blenny, Beans & Bats

January 30, 2013

October 2012 ~  Here are a few more observations from our most recent trip to Raja Ampat, Indonesia. Batanta, one of four main islands, is located just a few cruising hours from the port of Sorong and is usually the first and last stops on our itineraries. That has never been enough for me so for this most recent trip aboard the Dewi Nusantara, we planned an all-Batanta itinerary. The heavily forested island has been my favorite for beachcombing, birdwatching and … Read more Blenny, Beans & Bats

Blue Ringed Octopus catches Crab from BlennyWatcher.com

Blue-Ringed Octopus Catches Crab

August 19, 2012

Bali, Indonesia ~ I spotted the Blue Ringed Octopus as it swam across an open expanse of rubble and landed on a small rock. It was late afternoon and the current was quite strong, so I had decided to head back to the shallows where there was more light and where it would be easier to get back to the boat. I spotted the octopus and forgot all about the marginal conditions. We have had more success observing blue rings catching … Read more Blue-Ringed Octopus Catches Crab

Pearlfish from Indonesia Blennywatcher.com

Cool Fish Video: Pearlfish

April 1, 2012

Pantar, Indonesia, 2006 – I have said it many times: Not a fan of night diving. Our liveaboard dive boat was anchored in Beangabang Bay and only three of us, plus our guide, Made, were diving. Several years earlier, I had seen a pearlfish during a night dive in Lembeh Strait, but it was at the very end of a two-hour dive so all I got was a 3 second clip before the camera battery expired. I spotted this one … Read more Cool Fish Video: Pearlfish

Caribbean Reef Octopus, Octopus briareus

Night Prowler: Caribbean Reef Octopus

March 22, 2012

Seems like a good day to share some video of a beautiful creature: the Caribbean Reef Octopus, Octopus briareus. Because of its Houdinilike ability to rapidly alter its wealth of chromatophores (pigment-filled skin organs) into a moveable mosaic of delightful patterns coupled with the species’ acrobatic nature, we rank this fine fellow high on our list of favorites. Adding to its allure, the species is only found at night after it emerges from the reef to search for a dinner … Read more Night Prowler: Caribbean Reef Octopus

Putting a Wrasse to Bed

March 9, 2012

Bimini, 1995 – I noticed something unusual – a group of Yellowhead Wrasse (Halichoeres garnoti), including several normally solitary terminal phase males swimming together in a tight little group near the bottom. We were making a dusk dive at Turtle Rocks, looking for fish spawning action. We had already spent many afternoons watching the Yellowheads spawn. This little group was swimming with purpose, but it didn’t look like spawning. They swam a regular pattern for over twenty minutes, visiting several … Read more Putting a Wrasse to Bed

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

Anemonefish hiding from predatory jack

If I Can’t See You…

February 27, 2012

  Indonesia (2004) – We spent the better part of 4 days in a shallow grass bed watching a shoal of squid mating and laying eggs down in the grass. We could not predict when they would show up and even more frustrating, they would spook and disappear for anywhere from 5 to 45 minutes. This made for a lot of time underwater, just waiting. During the long waits, I amused myself by watching an anemonefish bury itself into its host anemone … Read more If I Can’t See You…

Fish Grows New Tail

February 25, 2012

Bonaire – I needed video of schools of fish to illustrate a teaching point for a REEF fish identification class so we headed to a site with known schools of Smallmouth Grunts, Haemulon chrysargyreum. The grunts normally drift sedately in small schools but today there seemed to be a troublemaker in the group. Every time I approached, one fish would panic and send the whole school fleeing. When I looked up from my viewfinder, I realized the culprit was a … Read more Fish Grows New Tail

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

Juvenile frogfish on a sea star

Ride ‘Em Frogfish!

February 12, 2012

    Sulawesi, Indonesia – Ned was working on a slide presentation, so I buddied up with our friend Jessica Hatsfelt for the afternoon dive. The boat moored in the center of a small sandy bay that had very little in the way of critter habitat – only an occasional small patch of sea grass. Hanny, our Eco Divers guide, led us over the sand and along a slope, pausing for a pipefish and nudibranch or two until we ended … Read more Ride ‘Em Frogfish!