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’
Phyllodesmium briareum – Nudibranch – There is a lot going on in those wavy arms. The name briareus was apparently given to it because it uses camouflage and looks like the soft coral Briareum violacea with which it is often found. Their specific name briareum comes from Briareos, one of three Greek storm giants who each had one hundred hands and fifty heads. P. briareum spends the day feeding on various kinds of soft coral, but they also have contains zooxanthellae which live in specialized ducts in the digestive gland. They do their photosynthesis thing and provide sugars.
The tentacles are cerata (from the Greek word meaning “horn”, a reference to the shape of these structures) of conventional aeolid shape. Aeolids (a suborder of Nudibranchia)take their name from the Greek god of the winds, Aeolus because of the waving of their cerata resembles streamers in the wind. All aeolids have these dorsal and lateral outgrowths of the body. They are a blood-filled tube which contains a duct of the digestive gland. At the tip of the ceras in most aeolids is a sac, called the cnidosac which stores stinging nematocysts from the cnidarians (sea anemones, hydroids etc) on which they feed. Aeolids can discharge these nematocysts in their own defense. Some aeolids, such as species of Phyllodesmium which feed on soft-corals, do not have a cnidosac because the nematocysts of soft-corals are of little use in defense. Instead their cerata produce a horrible sticky secretion at the tip of the ceras. The cerata can even drop off and wriggle around, hopefully distracting assailants giving it a chance to escape.
Being an aeolid, P. briareum lacks the gills
found in many other nudibranches. Instead, they do all their breathing
straight through the skin, but particularly through those wonderful
tentacles which are known as cerata.
Lance Blenny – Aspidontus dussumieri These are what is known as a false cleanerfish. They are noted for their cunning mimicry of cleaner wrasses: by imitating the latter’s color, form, and behavior, these blennies are able to trick other fish (or even divers) into letting down their guard, long enough for the blennies to nip a quick mouthful of skin or scale.
Etymology: Aspidontus: Greek, aspis, -idos = shield + Latin, dens, dentis = teeth The specific name honors the French explorer and trader Jean-Jacques Dussumier. He is known as a collector of zoological species from southern Asia and regions around the Indian Ocean between 1816 and 1840. Dussumier’s name was lent to numerous species, and an entire genus of herrings is called Dussumieria.
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”
Candy Crab – Hoplophrys oatesi – A very colorful crab that grows from 1.5 to 2 cm. It lives on various species of soft coral in the #Dendronephthya genus. It camouflages itself by mimicking the colors of the polyps among which it hides. It adds further camouflage by attaching polyps to its carapace. Colors vary depending on the color of the coral, and may be white, pink, yellow or red.
The first pair of legs of this
species has small claws. The body has pointed spines with a red and
white pattern, similar in appearance to the host coral.
Introducing Huenia heraldica, the Halimeda Crab. Its ability to camouflage in Halimeda algae (duh!) is nothing short of remarkable. Halimeda algae is a smart object to mimic since very few organisms enjoy dining on this hard algae.
species is a decorator crab; It sometimes attaches rigid fronds of
halimeda algae to its rostrum in front of the eyes to enhance its