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Member Since 12 Sep 2004
Offline Last Active Jul 05 2013 06:08 AM

Posts I've Made

In Topic: Where is Keri Wilk or anyone from Reefnet?

26 January 2012 - 12:28 PM

Hi Lasse,

Sorry for the lack of response. Since the beginning of this month, we have had 2 members of our family pass away. As a result, emails, orders, business, and life in general has been put on hold until now. I will email you shortly regarding the addition to your original order.

Sorry for the inconvenience.


In Topic: What are these little critters?

25 December 2011 - 10:55 AM

Certainly knowing where to look, and happening to have a 50mm or 100mm macro AND a +10 is as beneficial as know to check every touch me not I swim by.

Now if I can remember what a touch me not looks like.. :)

Here are two photos of a touch-me-not sponge.

Attached File  touch_me_not1.jpg   241.59KB   204 downloads

Attached File  touch_me_not2.jpg   240.79KB   192 downloads

Here are two more photos of the shrimp. I took the first one in Dominica inside the sponge, Ray Haberman took the second in St. Vincent on the outside surface of the sponge. It is rarely out of the sponge.

Attached File  whitefoot_dominica_LW.jpg   218.55KB   200 downloads

Attached File  whitefoot_dominica_RH.jpg   233.62KB   213 downloads

Les Wilk

In Topic: What are these little critters?

25 December 2011 - 06:32 AM

When Cindy and Everett brought this shrimp to my attention a couple of years ago, they noted that they were finding it only in touch-me-not sponges (Neofibularia notitangere). Since then I've made a point of looking inside touch-me-nots whenever I've gone diving in the Caribbean, and I have asked many others to do the same. I'm finding the shrimp inside about 25% of the sponges I check, and from the reports I've been receiving it's pretty clear that it has a very broad distribution in the tropical West Atlantic --- wherever you find the touch-me-not sponge. The main reason this shrimp is so "unknown" is that its body color perfectly matches that of its host environment, i.e. the inside of the sponge's excurrent opening, and its white claws (not mentioned in the original 1949 description, and unusually subdued in Tepper's photo) blend in perfectly with the white worms that live inside the sponge. When the worms are out you'll have a hard time seeing the shrimp. Another reason is that divers are told to keep away from touch-me-not sponges, which is not a bad suggestion.

This is a great example of how underwater photographers can contribute to the advancement of science. The colors of preserved specimens can differ greatly from life colors, for two reasons: the specimens are dead, and they have been immersed in preservative. Both can cause dramatic color changes. Underwater photographers can supply not only the missing color information, but also accurate information about habitat, behavior, and geographical distribution.

Thanks to Cindy and Everett and their friends, Periclimenes harringtoni has been "resurrected" after 60 years of obscurity, and now has a common name --- the "whitefoot shrimp". Look for it.

Les Wilk

In Topic: A most likely new species

09 November 2011 - 05:14 PM

:B): the "new island" is giving a lot of trouble!

To me it does not look at all like that (from google search anyway...). It would look more like Echiophis intertinctus although it is not exactly the same either imho...


But the one who identified it and told the spanish biologists is John E. McCosker, that has to know very well these fish:


John McCosker is a world expert on snake eels. I think he would agree that based on the photos alone one cannot distinguish whether it's E. intertinctus (spotted spoon-nose eel) or E. punctifer (snapper eel). However, E. intertinctus has never been reported from the eastern Atlantic, while E. punctifer has been reported from Sierra Leone and south to the Democratic Republic of Congo. Based on location, there is a high probability that this is E. punctifer. This sighting would be a significant range extension for E. punctifer.

In our DVD field guide we indicate how to unambiguously separate the two species:

"The feature used by ichthyologists to most reliably distinguish this species from E. intertinctus is the nature of its preopercular pores. These are small openings on the lower side of the head, slightly behind the mouth and in front of the opercle. E. intertinctus has 2 rather inconspicuous pores, while E. punctifer has three pores, each one usually surrounded by dark pigment."

Unfortunately, those pores are not visible in the photos.

Les Wilk

In Topic: Blennies Blennies everywhere...

30 October 2011 - 06:13 AM

I am 100% sure about the first 2 (Malacoctenus triangulatus and Malacoctenus boehlkei). The third is probably Chaenopsis limbaughi (Yellowface pikeblenny) but I can't be sure without seeing the whole fish. The last is Opistognathus macrognathus (Banded Jawfish).

I agree with Luiz on all of them except the third one, which looks more like a wrasse blenny (Hemiemblemaria simula )