Posted by: Kaj Maney
It has been a very good week. Yet again Barb and I have been amazed by the critters we have been finding. This week Barb saw something I had seen but she hadn’t. I saw something for the first time that she had seen before but I hadn’t. and we both saw one thing neither of us had ever seen before!!
Barb finally saw her first juvenile Sole. When soles are very small, about 3cm (1 inch), they are a black colour with lovely orange patterns. They seem to resemble flatworms, which are poisonous, and therefore avoid getting eaten.
They are very rarely seen, and even when they are, they are confused with Flatworms, so good is their camouflage. But you can see, when looking at the photo here, that they have eyes and a long nostril tube (one of the differences between a sole and a flounder).
The one critter we had both never seen before was a Ghost Melibe, a strange nudibranch. The Ghost Melibes have a bigger cousin called a Green Melibe, which I had seen before, but Barb had never seen (and still hasn’t seen). Barb actually found this Ghost Melibe, that looks like algae swaying in the sand. Neither us us knew it even existed before she found it, but we knew it was some sort of Melibe, as it shares the same general body structure as the Green Melibe (which you can see by clicking here).
And finally, I finally found a critter I had been searching for for a long time…..
… Some of you who have been here in the last few months have heard me going on about a Geographic Sea Hare. Barb has taken some amazing photos of this creature, with it’s lovely fractal green body, and she has seen several of them.
It had become a bit of a Dive Shop joke. The guides and Barb had seen the Sea Hare on one particular site on multiple occasions. Whenever I went there we never found it. As soon as I missed a dive to the site, it was seen….it was getting frustrating.
Well, we were at another site close by, and had had an amazing dive with three Mimics, a Flamboyant Cuttlefish, Ornate Ghost Pipefish and much more. We were in the shallows and suddenly, what did I see in front of me?? A tiny little Geographic Sea Hare!!! I couldn’t believe it!! I showed Joe, on of our guides, and he just started laughing.. finally we had found one!! And doubly pleasing, it was me who found it!!
So enjoy the video of this very cool Sea Hare. This one was tiny, about 3cm 91 inch) long. You can see it eating some food at the end.
The rest of the week has been fantastic too. We saw a Blue Ring Octopus, many Mimics, a Wonderpus, lots of Coconut and Long Arm Octopus, as well as several larger Day (Reef) Octopus. There have been Broadclub, Pygmy, Reef and Flamboyant Cuttlefish. Crustaceans have been wonderful with more Harlequin Shrimp, Harlequin Crabs, Tiger Shrimp, Boxing Crabs, Mantis Shrimp, including one lovely Peacock Mantis with eggs, Zebra Crabs, Rock Shrimp, Saron Shrimp, Paron Shrimp, Skeleton Shrimp, Hairy Shrimp, Urchin Bumblebee Shrimp (which I very proudly found), Crinoid Shrimp, Elegant Squat Lobster, Hairy Squat Lobster, Porcelain Crabs, Decorator Crabs, Sponge Leg Crabs, Orang-Utan Crabs, Emperor Shrimp, Marble Shrimp and many more. The Seahorse family have been good, with four new pink Bargabantis found on the House Reef, Pontohis, Rough Snout, Robust, Ornate and Halimeda Ghost Pipefish, many Pipefish, Thorny Seahorses, Pipehorses and more. There have been Ambon Scorpionfish, Pegasus Sea Moths, Spiny Devilfish, Waspfish, Catfish, Dragonets, Jawfish, Leaf Scorpionfish, Stargazers and, of course, Frogfish, with Hairy, Painted, Maroon, Giant and Randal’s all being seen.
So please enjoy Barb’s photos from this week. Just click on the photo strip at the top and bottom of this blog to go to see them all.
Date Posted: July 11, 2011 @ 8:49 pm Comments (1)