A sampling of what lives beneath the waves
Postcard from the Reef – Spotted Boxfish
Postcard from the Reef – Gold Lace Nudibranch
Postcard from the Reef – Raccoon Butterflyfish
Postcard from the Reef – Gold Lace
Another Undescribed Species
There are quite a few well known, but undescribed species found island reefs. I have noted a few of them previously here on DarkerView.
Undescribed means simply that… The species has never been properly described in a scientific publication such that a species name is assigned. These do exist, and are more common than many people realize. Some marine biologist with expertise with related species needs to spend some time to capture a few, and do a proper description, an exercise that takes more effort than you might think.
I ran into another one recently. This anemone was quite common on the sandy slopes below the reef at Garden Eel Cove. There was a individual every three or four feet amoung the garden eels at 80ft depth. They are apparently an undescribed species of the genus Mesacmaea. More information can be found on Hoover’s update pages. This one should really be added to the next edition.
They were quite challenging to photograph. Quite small, less than an inch across, and quick to disappear into the sand when approached too closely.
Eye of the Predator
Trumpetfish are stealthy hunters, using their oddly shaped body to strike unsuspecting prey. They are also known to follow large creatures on the reef, turtles or groupers, to take advantage of prey flushed out in their passage. This trumpetfish was using me for the same purpose, hoping to strike whatever the big, noisy diver scared up. The fish hovered quite close to me, not even moving away despite several bright flashes from the strobe. The cave is a very popular dive site, this fish may have learned to use divers to find an easy meal.