Scuba

Susan Porter blenny watching Blennywatcher.com

Blenny Challenge Week 3

September 7, 2013

Bonaire, September 2013 ~ Week 3 of our Blenny Challenge and we’re a bit silly and punchy from being tossed around in the surf. We wanted to explore the east side of the island – the windward, or Wild Side as it is known – but conditions have to be absolutely perfect in order for us to enter the water with our cameras and roll around in 2 to 5 feet of water for 2 hours. We watched weather sites … Read more Blenny Challenge Week 3

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

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

Razorfish Bites

March 6, 2013

Lembeh Strait, Indonesia ~ Well the table is turned. I have seen prey in the grips of toothy lizardfishes before, but never this. What is going on here? From a distance I could see Ned watching what I thought was a lizardfish (quite a predator on the reef) trying to eat a razorfish. Then I realized the razorfish was firmly clamped onto the lizardfish – quite a reversal from the expected. Ned had a better angle and was able to … Read more Razorfish Bites

Ned and Grouper by Anna DeLoach BlennyWatcher.com

TGIF – Marine Life Encounters

November 2, 2012

Happy Friday!  Blennywatcher is on the road, so I’m sharing some amusing marine life encounters from the archives. We don’t seek interactions with fish and critters – sometimes they just happen. The Goliath Grouper, hanging out in an area where some dive operators fed fish, stalked us, hoping for a hand-out. The head shaking behavior, shown in my video at the end of this post is interesting because a friend showed me similar footage of a grouper in Bonaire, where … Read more TGIF – Marine Life Encounters

From the Archives: Humann Turns Fishh

February 20, 2012

In 1995, our good friends, Patricia and Richard Collins, published Volume 2 of Sort of Diver, A Sport Diving Lampoon. It was a pretty funny send-up of the dive magazines of the day, complete with advertisements for indispensable products like Camel Spit Defog and articles like “In-depth Buyer’s Guide to Snorkel Holders.” We spent many hilarious evenings around the dinner table at Paul Humann’s house listening to their latest ideas for SOD. We were all invited to participate and nothing … Read more From the Archives: Humann Turns Fishh

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

Life List: Slender Sea Moth

January 22, 2012

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

Blennies bite too, but that’s not why we love them

September 8, 2011

We could tell the story about how a few years ago, the BlennyWatcher was invited to participate in a Shark Week show pitch at Discovery Channel headquarters (which is worth a visit, if for no other reason than to see the cool kinetic sculpture in the lobby) and how hopes were deflated by an exec who said the treatment needed to be more “bitey”…but we won’t go there. In fact, the show pitch needed much work beyond its lack of … Read more Blennies bite too, but that’s not why we love them