Decodon puellaris, Deep-Sea Red Hogfish

Here’s a WOWZERS fish for you all this morning called a Decodon puellaris or a deep-sea red hogfish and this is the juvenile of that species. When older this crazy colorful little fish will loose a lot of these colors and markings and turn a dark orange or reddish color, still beautiful but nothing like his or her baby colors. For those of you wondering about size, this one here is about three inches in length. These fish are incredible little hunters and love brittle stars, crabs, shrimps and urchins, in fact it’s fish like this that keep most of the invertebrates hidden on the reef most of the day. On many occasions I have seen these fish picking on and trying to eat hermit crabs as well, they are true reef bullies and not as nice as they appear to be. This was another in the long list of cool finds from St

Curacao Coral Restoration Foundation, CRFCuracao

Good morning all, we are having a week of hurricane force winds making it tough to do anything outside! Yesterday we were going to take the submersible out for a collecting trip but because of the crazy wind driving big waves to shore we were unable to even get our sub in the water. So today I have a coral nursery or coral Christmas tree for you that I photographed near the Substation but to the west a little ways. This is a super cool coral restoration project being done by the Curacao Coral Restoration Foundation.

Giant Hermit Crab, Petrochirus Diogenes

Good morning all, a few days ago I posted a photo of this very same hermit crab but in a different shell, here’s the story of how that happened… Last Friday I found and photographed this new giant hermit crab and he was in an old beat-up shell that barely fit him, (check out the older blog photo). So after getting out of the water I ran into my office and grabbed some other empty shells for him and tossed them in the water next to him but they also turned out to be either to small or the same size as the one he already was in. I did jump in again and I watched as he measured one of the shells out for size but after checking it out decided it was the same as the one he had and left it. So I again got out of the water and ran over to the sea-lion area where I knew they had a collection of old Queen conch shells sitting on top of a wall and asked if I could take one for my crab, they said no problem. I then ran back to where he was and without getting in the water tossed the giant shell in and it landed about three feet away from him, I knew he would find it.

Trashed Elkhorn Coral

Good morning friends, your looking at some of the most endangered corals on the planet that are being faced with extinction due to global warming, storms, trash, boat anchors and snorkelers. This very fragile, shallow growing Elkhorn coral is right in the path of just about everything bad and can’t seem to catch a break. Yesterday we swam out to do a photo-shoot with Aimee snorkeling with one of the new Ikelite housings and immediately ran into this poor Elkhorn colony covered in nasty plastic! Because this coral was only in around six feet of water removing the plastic was super difficult due to the passing waves creating a strong surge. I had a knife with me and had Aimee hold my camera while I fought the surge trying to cut it loose, I swear plastic with be the death of this whole planet! Once removed you could see where the coral had died due to choking to death and was now bleach white, I will go back and take a close-up for you to better explain.