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Member Since 24 Apr 2010
Offline Last Active Aug 04 2010 09:03 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Not ID but behavior: Spotted Snake Eel with Spanish Hogfish

04 August 2010 - 09:04 AM

On a recent trip to Bonaire I was lucky enough to catch a sailfin blenny doing some dramatic displays. As I waited I would take glances over at a spotted snake eel, whose head stuck out of the sand. More than once I saw a Spanish Hogfish swim in a very tight circle around the eel's head, brushing against the eel. I took a few snaps. As the pictures show, the fish was stirring up some sand as it made its passes. Has anyone seen that before, and if this happens regularly, does anyone know why it happens? Sorry if this is out of place here -- I don't know of a better forum, but would be happy to learn of one.

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This is very interesting because I have never seen this behavior in a wrasse. The behavior is called 'mobbing' and was first described in birds in cases where small maneuverable birds mob a potential predator (e.g. a hawk or cat) to draw attention to its presence and/or harass it. Its fairly well known that damselfishes do this to scorpionfishes, groupers, eels or other predators.

In Topic: Minute Seahorse ID

09 June 2010 - 06:39 AM

Hi All,

My buddy Ingo spotted, and I photographed, this small (~ 4 cm) seahorse:

It was found in Okinawa, Japan, at ~ 20 m in a sandy area, next to some sea grass and a large sea cucumber. I have not found it on fishbase, or in any of my ID books (but I don't own Kuiter's books on seahorses).

I'd appreciate help with IDing this one,



Its a male Japanese Pygmy Pipehorse Acentronura gracillisima.

In Topic: Best non-web critter ID sources?

08 June 2010 - 07:37 AM

I recently bought "Soft Corals and Sea Fans" by Fabricius and Alderslade direct from Australian Institute of Marine Science,

Price with international shipping was quite reasonable (IMO), although the book is only soft-cover.

The coverage of families of soft corals and sea fans is very comprehensive, with each genus being covered by ~1 page of text and ~1 page of images. The images in general are of good quality and useful for recreational ID purposes as well.

Now, however, I have a question: which book(s) should I buy to get coverage of the rest of the corals _not_ covered in this one or Veron's trilogy of hard corals? Especially anemones would be of interest...

I would recommend Erhardt & Knop 2005 Corals Indo-Pacific Field Guide (IKAN) for species-level identification of soft corals, gorgonians and anemones as well as hard corals. Although there may be some taxonomic differences between it and Veron's tome on hard corals and the coverage is nowhere as complete, it covers more species of the other groups than any other book with good uw photos. Its also small enough to be taken on a trip.

In Topic: Has anyone seen this blenny?

02 June 2010 - 11:49 AM


My husband, Lupo, shot this blenny a few days ago in Triton Bay. We haven't found it in any ID books on the boat, but we haven't had access to a Humann / DeLoach book yet. It may also be that other ID pics of this blenny don't show him out far enough to reveal that beautiful little bowtie pattern. It's really adorable! Here's an image. If anyone knows what it is, please let me know!


Hi. The pattern of spots and shading on the face are indicative of the Delicate Blenny Glyptoparus delicatulus. Don't let the colors per-se mislead you. My take is that it is a nuptual male with enhanced colors and the bowtie may be a signal to show off to females or even other males.