Posted by: Kaj Maney
It’s a well known fact (hopefully for many of those reading this blog) that male seahorses incubate their fertilised eggs. It is also fairly well known that male Jawfish incubate their fertilised eggs in their mouths. It is much less known that another species of fish, the Cardinalfish, do the same.
We occasionally see, usually Banggai, Cardinalfish with a mouth full of eggs. And it always looks like that, the mouth is slightly open and you can see the eggs hidden inside. This week I saw a rare Coral Cardinalfish and didn’t really know what to make of it, as the eggs were definitely not ‘inside’, but were bulging out.
At first I thought that the Cardinalfish had found a clutch of something else’s eggs and was having an ‘eyes are bigger than the stomach’ meal. But when I got back to the resort I started to investigate I found that I had stumbled upon a very unusual sight and that a couple of days before finally hatching the incubating egg masses start to engorge and spill out of the brooding male’s mouth and the mouth becomes locked open. It is very rare to see them in this state, which was confirmed when I showed the guides the video and they had never seen it before.
I must say that it looks rather painful!! Better him than me!!
Great photo this week form Barb, though she didn’t realise until studying the photo later. She found this lovely white Frogfish and got a great photo of it head-on. When editing it we noticed that there is a tiny little hairy shrimp in the bottom right corner!!
The rest of the week has been great. We’ve seen Mimic, Wonderpus, Starry Night, Long Arm and Day Octopus. There have been Flamboyant, Broadclub and Pygmy Cuttlefish, as well a Pygmy Squid. Crustaceans include Harlequin Shrimp, Harlequin Crabs, Xeno Crabs, Whip Coral Shrimp, Hairy Shrimp, Hairy Squat Lobster, Squat Shrimp, Tozeuma Shrimp, Mushroom Coral Shrimp, Orang Utan Crabs, Decorator Crabs, Carry Crabs, Candy Crabs, Tiger Shrimp, Emperor Shrimp, Urchin Bumblebee Shrimp, Cleaner Shrimp, Mantis Shrimp (both Smashing and Spearing), Xenia Crabs and a Red Frog Spanner Crab. Frogfish have been really good with many Painted Frogfish (especially the bright orange variety), Hairy Frogfish, Randal’s Frogfish, Occellated (Coin Bearing) Frogfish, Giant Frogfish and Warty Frogfish. We have seen pink and yellow Bargabanti Pygmy Seahorses, Lembeh Pygmy Seadragons, Pygmy Pipefish, normal Pipefish, Common, Estuary and Thorny Seahorses, Winged Pipefish and Velvet, Ornate and Robust Ghost Pipefish. And we’ve seen Pegasus Sea Moths, Leaf Scorpionfish, Crocodilefish, juvenile Pinnate Batfish, Solar Powered Nudis, Electric Disco Clams, juvenile Rock Mover Wrasse, Banggai Cardinalfish, Ambon Scorpionfish, Stargazers, Reptilian Snake Eels, Mandarinfish, Flatworms and many many more.
So thanks to all our fab guests from Singapore, Russia, the States, Germany, Sweden and France. It’s been great diving with you.
To see Barb’s full set of photos from this week, just click on the photo strip at the top or bottom of this blog.
Date Posted: May 21, 2012 @ 9:50 pm Comments Off