Shortpouch pygmy pipehorse – Acentronura tentaculata Like a combination of seahorse and pipe fish: their tail is prehensile and used for anchorage, winding itself around pieces of algae or seagrass. However, the front part of the body is typical pipefish, with the head and body held in line rather than bent through and angle like seahorses. There is sexual dimorphism and the males are somewhat larger and more robustly built than the females. Because they are so small, the brood pouch is also large in proportion to the body, giving the males a somewhat more seahorse-like appearance than the females which have the typical slim linear form of pipefishes.
Skeleton Shrimp – Caprellidae family – amphipods. Females carry large number of transparent eggs inside the brood pouch (located on her abdomen) until they hatch.
Pookey the pygmy pipehorse gathers his skeleton shrimp friends around to retell the great story of the day that Jon descended down from the waters above. Jon was dressed in a dark fake skin that was stretched very tight. Attached to each of his rear appendages were awkward rubber fins. His blue eyes were concealed behind a layer glass. A great hissing sound followed by a rumble of bubbles escaped from around Jon's mouth in a rhythmic pattern. Hssssss blublublublublublub Hsssssss blublublublublublub! He carried in front of him a great contraption that flashed a very bright light from the orbs at the end each of its antennas - one on each side of a single unblinking eye. Jon stayed only a few moments peering into this contraption and pointing that mysterious eye to and fro. FLASH Hssssss blublublublublublub…..FLASH Hssssss blublublublublublub. FLASH Hssssss blublublublublublub. Then, Jon swam off at a great speed. It was indeed a marvelous day.
Painted Frogfish – Antennarius pictus – Has a lure which is about twice as long as the second dorsal spine. Nearly always 3 light-edged spots on tail fin. A. pictus shows a lot of different colors and changes them quite often.
I was disappointed that I could not capture a photo of the little lure waving about. When I put my camera in the housing I did not get the strobe hot shoe clicked completely in place. This was lighted by holding my dive light from above and I couldn’t produce enough light for a fast enough shutter speed to catch the waving.
Etymology Antennarius: From Latin, antenna, antemna = ‘sensory organ’ pictus: From Latin = ‘painted’
Spotted Worm Sea Cucumber – Synapta maculata – Sometimes growing as long as 10 ft, it is one of the longest sea cucumbers in the world. The 15 tentacles of Synapta maculata surround the mouth and are used in surface feeding. They are about 1 in long when extended and have a short stem and a feather-like blade with thirty to forty pairs of pinnules (secondary branches). The outer surfaces of the tentacles have numerous bulges and are adhesive while the inner surfaces are smooth, with clusters of cilia on the proximal parts. The tentacles are in continuous motion; they flatten themselves against the substrate or seagrass leaf blades and collect food particles by adhesion, then bend inwards until the tips are in the mouth, where the food is scraped off by the buccal (mouth) sphincter muscle. The whole process takes only a few seconds, and several tentacles can deliver their loads at the same time. You can watch them go at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ru1fcsFp1M
Bubble Coral Shrimp – Vir philippinensis Like all coral associated shrimps, the limit between, parasitism and mutual symbiosis, is pretty thin. Probably that the shrimp, in exchange of food and shelter, helps fight off some small parasites, such as flat worms, coral eating nudies, some sponges or algae that would compete with the corals. or even clean the coral off any detritus, sand…
Bubble Coral – Plerogyra sinuosa The vesicles resembling bubbles up to 1 in in diameter. These enlarge during the day but retract to a certain extent during the night to expose the polyps and their tentacles. It obtains most of its nutritional needs from the symbiotic dinoflagellates that live inside its soft tissues including the walls of the vesicles. These photosynthetic organisms provide the coral with organic carbon and nitrogen, sometimes providing up to 90% of their host’s energy needs for metabolism and growth. Its remaining needs are met by the planktonic organisms caught by the polyps at night.
Etymology Vir – from Latin ‘man’ philippinensis – Means “from the Philippines” Plerogyra – Plero from Latin ‘almost’ + gyra, alteration of Greek gŷros ‘circle’ or ’round’ sinuosa – Latin ‘winding’
Thecacera picta – Nudibranch – They are almost clear, you can see its internal organs through the translucent body. A characteristic feature of this genus are the long horns on its back, which can be extended and retracted. Most of the nudibranchs with feathery gills have them near the back of the body, but here they’re closer to the front.
Etymology Thecacera. From Greek ‘theke’, a receptacle, a scabbard or sheath + ‘kerós’, horn, for the shielded rhinophores. picta – From Latin ‘pictus’ for painted, colored, decorated
A rhinophore is one of a pair of chemosensory rod-shaped structures which are the most prominent part of the external head anatomy in nudibranchs.
Etymology Rhinophore – relates to the function as an organ of “smell”. A mixed Latin and Greek word meaning “carrying noses” – “Rhino-” means nose from Ancient Greek ‘rhis’ and from its genitive rhinos. “Phore” means “to bear” from New Latin -‘phorus’ and from Greek -phoros “bearing”, a derivative of phérein.
Bigfin Reef Squid – Sepioteuthis lessoniana – BfRS have a large oval fin that extends throughout the margins of its mantle.
BfRS adapt to warmer temperatures by laying more eggs, making them a good indicator species for climate change.
The babies resemble miniature adults and are remarkable for already having the capability to change body coloration upon hatching.
BfRS have the fastest recorded growth rates of any large marine invertebrate, reaching 600 g in only four months. They are a short-lived species, with a maximum recorded lifespan of 315 days.
Males have been observed to exhibit mating behaviors with other males. Some males have been found with numerous spermatophores embedded in their mouth funnels. Since BfRS distinguish sex by visual cues, this may be a form of deception. The smaller males (termed “female mimics” or “sneaker males”) might have assumed body patterning typical of females in order to trick larger males. Believing they are females, they will then waste their spermatophores on them.
BfRS are one of the most commercially important squid species, and are widely consumed as human food.
Large chromatophores densely cover the upper surfaces of the head, mantle and arms with fewer on the sides.
BfRS are capable of metachrosis – rapidly changing body coloration and patterns through voluntary control of chromatophores.
They also possess iridophores that produces iridescent metallic greens and red when illuminated.
They are also one of two squid species with leucophores that are a reflector-type structural coloration that reflects ambient light, such that they are white in white light, green in green light, and so on.
BfRS are remarkable for having the ability to produce complex body patterns from the moment they hatch.
Etymology: Sepioteuthis – Greek for “cuttlefish squid” lessoniana: Named after René Primevère Lesson who was a 19th century French botanist and surgeon who collected it off the coast of New Guinea during the circumnavigational voyage of the French corvette La Coquille (1822–1825).
Intermediate Flounder – Asterorhombus intermedius Lefteye flounders are a family, Bothidae, of flounders. They are called “lefteye flounders” because most species lie on the sea bottom on their right sides, with both eyes on their left sides.
A helpful reminder when trying to recall the family name for this fish is that:
“Bothidae (Both o’ dey) eyes are on the same side o’ dey head.”
Peacock Mantis Shrimp – Odontodactylus Scyallarus – a smasher, with club-shaped raptorial appendages. An active hunter, it prefers gastropods, crustaceans, and bivalves, and will repeatedly smash its prey until it can gain access to the soft tissue for consumption. It is reported to have a “punch” of over 50 miles per hour, this is the fastest recorded punch of any living animal.
Here is an interesting read about their clubbing arms:
The stomatopod dactyl club: a formidable damage-tolerant biological hammer. The dactyl clubs exhibit an impressive set of characteristics adapted for surviving high-velocity impacts on the heavily mineralized prey on which they feed. Consisting of a multiphase composite of oriented crystalline hydroxyapatite and amorphous calcium phosphate and carbonate, in conjunction with a highly expanded helicoidal organization of the fibrillar chitinous organic matrix, these structures display several effective lines of defense against catastrophic failure during repetitive high-energy loading events.
Mantis Shrimp Eyes are also Highly unique in the animal kingdom. Its specialized eyes can pick up several types of light, including infrared and ultraviolet, and its color vision tops ours. It can also see a type of polarized light that no other animal is known to be able to detect. The key to the extraordinary vision is in the structure of its eyes, which consist of six rows of numerous smaller eyes called ommatidia. It is the way the way light-sensing cells in some ommatidia are arranged. They sit at just the angle to convert circularly polarized light (CPL)–a type of light wave that travels in a spiral–to a form that other cells underneath can detect.
Odonto from Greek “having teeth” and Greek daktylos “finger, toe”
Scyllarus from Greek skyllaros, kyllaros “hermit crab” + -idae
Renate Khalaf’s Cleaner Shrimp – Urocaridella renatekhalafae – a clear cleaner shrimp in the family Palaemonidae. It was identified as a species new to science in 2018, and was named in honor of the discoverer’s mother, Renate Khalaf.
Two important notes: 1. Shows that not everything you see has been identified yet 2. That you can name thing for your mom.
Etomology – Oura Greek meaning “tail” and Latin Carid meaning “crustacean”