Yellow-Spotted Guard Crab

It was a good day for photographing guard crabs. I was not finding much else worth photographing anyway. Numerous large antler coral colonies spotted the slope, each home to a small community of animals sheltering amongst the branches. Hawkfish, coral crouchers, various hermit crabs, and guard crabs. I came up with half a dozen decent photos of different guard crabs. I will not bore you with all of them, at least not all at once…

Yellow-Spotted Guard Crab
A yellow-spotted guard crab (Trapezia flavopunctata) shelters in the arms of an antler coral (Pocillopora eydouxi)

Postcard from the Reef – Honeycomb Coral

It is worth a moment, even in the limited time of a dive, to stop and look close at the coral itself. Never mind the psychedelic fish, the coral is what makes a reef. Untold billions of small polyps, each a separate animal, cooperate to build the largest natural structures in the world.

Some corals are easier to examine closely. Honeycomb coral has corallites much larger than most, easier to get a good look without magnification. Getting your mask close allows you to appreciate each little animal, part of the larger colony.

Honeycomb Coral
A closeup view of honeycomb coral (Gardineroseris planulata) showing the individual corallites