Odd Fish Pics

Posted in Under the Sea on November 22nd, 2009 by MadDog
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Again, I’m covered up by work and have little time to write. However, there is always time for images. Today I’ll show you some of my more unusual friends.

This wiggly little thing about the size of a baby’s finger is the Urchin Clingfish (Diademichthys lineatus):

Urchin Clingfish (Diademichthys lineatus)

They are quite tiny and constantly moving, so it’s not easy to get a shot. They are also pretty rare. This is the only one that I’ve ever seen.

Okay, this is not a fish. I bet some out there will guess that these are squid eggs:

Squid Eggs

I have no idea why they are attached to a submerged tree branch which was only about two metres below the surface. It looks like a good lunch for a predator. They are more often seen attached to the underside of rocks.

This is a ferocious Titan Triggerfish (Balistoides viridescens)  which appears to be quite dead. Why is the Monty Python  “Dead Parrot” skit playing now in my brain?Titan Triggerfish (Balistoides viridescens)

You don’t need to weep. This is simply a common habit of the species. They often wiggle-waggle sideways on the bottom in this manner. I suspect that it helps to dislodge parasites.

This cute little guy is a Black-Saddled Toby (Canthigaster valentini):

Black Saddled Toby (Canthigaster valentini)

I see these on almost every dive, but it’s rare to get such a decent image of one. They are very wary and skillful at staying just out of camera range. I surprised this one.

This oddball is a Bignose Unicornfish (Naso vlamingii):

Bignose Unicornfish (Naso vlamingii)

There is another species that has a horn-like protrusion on the nose that looks more unicornish. This one just has a big schnoz. This fish goes through a remarkable colour change when it is at a cleaning station where the little cleaner fish pick off the parasites – like a car wash for fish. Normally the fish appears jet black. However, while it is at a cleaning station, it changes colours until it is nearly a pale baby blue. I imaging that this is to ‘tell’ the cleaner fish that it’s safe to start work and they are not going to be eaten.

That’s all of the strangeness that I can manage for today.

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Little Fishes

Posted in Under the Sea on December 11th, 2008 by MadDog
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Fortunately for me, I enjoy taking photos of little things. That’s a particularly happy proclivity when it comes to underwater photography, because we don’t have the clearest water here. In murky water, the closer you get, the better the shot. Naturally, small subjects will yield the clearest shots.

That’s if you can get close enough.

This is a teeny-weeny fish. I don’t know what it is. When they are this small (about1 cm), they are very difficult to identify unless you have a lot of time to dig through the literature:

A very tiny fish

I do know the name of this one. It’s an Urchin Clingfish (Diademichthys lineatus). This little fellow would be about 4 cm long:

Urchin clingfish (Diademichthys lineatus)

The unusual half-vertical head-down swimming position is typical of this species.

Here are two fine examples of one of our most beautiful reef fishes, the Fire Dartfish (Nemateleotris magnifica):

Fire Dartfish - (Nemateleotris magnifica)

These are common on only a few reefs. They must have very specific requirements for habitat. They favour the tops of reefs that are swept clean of sand and small rubble. The specimens above are about 4 or 5 cm long.

This little fishy is a Three Lined Blenny (Ecsenius trilineatus):

Three Lined Blenny (Ecsenius trilineatus)

This is their typical resting position. They like to be out in the sun. Other blennys prefer to hide in holes.

Speaking of hiding in holes, that is the favourite habitat of the shrimpgobys. This one is a Randall’s Shrimpgoby (Amblyeleotris randalii). There is usually a small shrimp that inhabits the same hole. I’ll show a photo of that sometime:

randalls_shrimpgoby_amblyeleotris_randalii_p1070901

The little shrimpgoby above is about 5 cm long.

These are razorfish. I’m too lazy to look up the taxonomic name:

Razorfish

They appear to be impossibly tall and skinny – like a beanpole. However, if you look closely, you’ll see that they swim with their heads pointing straight down so that they blend in with the vertically branched corals and sea grasses that are their preferred habitat. They are really a long, slender fish, but they swim as if they’re standing on their heads. If you disturb them, they immediately adopt a horizontal position and dart away.

Even little fish can be startling if you get enough of them in one place. In this shot, Carol is rising up through a fish storm to the forward hatch of The Henry Leith:

Carol caught in a fish storm

I could hear her screeching with delight through her regulator. That’s a mark of an experienced diver.

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