WHETHER FOR HEALTH OR PLEASURE, FISH SOMETIMES ENGAGE IN A PHENOMENON CALLED “FLASHING,” otherwise known as rubbingtheir bodies along the sea bottom. Ned Deloach, in his estimable Reef Fish Behavior, describes it as an effort to deal with the irritation of parasites by scrapping them off, an alternative to the much more commonly seen symbiotic cleaning by small fishes and crustaceans. Discussions about the cleaning dynamic sometimes suggest that, in addition to health benefits, the fishRead more
Photos of creatures. No reason. I just like them.
SLENDER FILEFISH (Monacanthus tuckeri) are only a few inches long and spend much of their time hiding out among gorgonians like this sea rod at the Turneffe Flats atoll off the coast of Belize. They’re very good at camouflage and somewhat challenging to spot. They’re denizens of the Atlantic/Caribbean basin, found from the southeastern Caribbean as far north as North Carolina and Bermuda. SECOND OPINION PRINCIPAL SOURCES: Reef Fish Identification Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas; Reef Coral Identification, Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas, PaulRead more
BASED IN THE UNITED KINGDOM, THE UNDERWATER PHOTOGRAPHER OF THE YEAR COMPETITION is probably better known in Europe than in the United States, but it draws entries from around the world and the photos are fantastic. The group has just announced its 2018 winners, competing in eight categories – Wide-Angle, Macro, Portrait, Compact, Behavior, Black & White and Up and Coming – plus three British Waters categories, Wide Angle, Macro and Compact. Here are twoRead more
MY FAVORITE FISHES TO ENCOUNTER ON THE REEF are three-spot damselfishes (Stegastes planifrons), feisty little guys (usually three to four inches long) that sometimes find you before you find them. That’s because they’re herbivores – algae eaters – who “farm” algae patches for their personal consumption. They constantly weed out the algae they don’t want, to make room for the types they want to encourage. “GET OFF MY LAWN!” And they guard their little gardensRead more
Atlantic torpedo rays aren’t your usual, charismatic touristy rays, like mantas, spotted eagles or even southern stingrays. In a way, they’re more interesting. It’s not for nothing that members of the family Torpedinidae are called electric rays. The Atlantic torpedo (Torpedo nobiliana) is one of 14 species of Torpedinidae rays worldwide that can deliver an electric shock – most producing less than 80 volts. T. nobiliana delivers up to 220-volts – probably not enough to killRead more
IT APPEARS THAT DIVERS ARE NOT THE ONLY ONES who watch the fishes under the sea. The roughhead blenny at front center is clearly interested in the doings of the sharknose gobies (Elacatinus evelynae) sharing its coralhead on Bonaire. A ROOM WITH A VIEW Basically, that’s what these little blennies do: Sit in their windows in the coral watching the world outside. And grabbing plankton out of the passing current. The gobies, of course, are waiting for a client to appear,Read more