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ellenm

The Tale of the Baby Frog and the Nudi

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As some of you may know, there was a new species of Trapania nudibranch discovered on Bonaire last year. This year I have found a few more of them and every one or two weeks I go for a dive to check up on them. On one afternoon I arrived at the sponge where the Trapania reside and saw a bright orange speck on the sponge which I immediately thought bore a very strong resemblance to a frogfish..I thought to myself, it can't be! I took out my magnifying glass and sure enough it was the tiniest frogfish I've ever seen! This was one time that I wished I had a buddy with me to hold up something next to it for scale..it was so unbelievably small!! I took some photos knowing that there was no way I could properly convey the size except for the one or two divers that might know how incredibly small (microscopic!) the kamptozoans or entoprocts are that cover this sponge and are the food of the Trapania nudibranchs.

 

Here is a shot of the baby frogfish surrounded by kamptozoans (clear blobs with black dots in the center). Notice some of the spots on the frogfish's tail and dorsal fin are transparent!..

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All right, I know some of you are now thinking...Okay, Ellen, a baby frogfish. We've seen shots of those before...yawn, yawn...how boring!...but wait, there is more! :D ..

 

I swam off to explore other parts of the reef and on my way back I stopped by the sponge again. I can imagine the frogfish thinking... there is that pesky photographer again... and it started moving...and moving...and moving...until it was right next to the Trapania. It proceeded to slip under the branchial plumes of the nudibranch (an excellent hiding place!) before I got any good shots of it. I thought to myself ...how very cool! I swam around to another vantage point to get a few parting shots of the Trapania. They were in a difficult spot to photograph..I had to twist myself into an uncomfortable position and try to hold my light while also holding the camera upside down. From underneath the Trapania the frogfish peeks out! It then proceeds to pose next to the Trapania...I am in awe!! I took several shots, all the while totally amazed at the scene and hoping that at least one of these shots turns out so that I could share how totally incredible this moment was!!

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FYI, the length of the Trapania is one inch!

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You are tormenting me with these shots. I love the shots and story behind it. Well done Ellen.

 

Cheers

 

Todd

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Really unique. Sure hope nothing gobbles up the cute little guy. Great stuff.

Edited by loftus

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wow, unbelieveable. I mean, I definitely believe you though. great find, wonderful photos. that frogfish is sooo cute. I'm not sure how you ever spotted it!

 

Scott

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Ellen

 

Love seeing this on WP!

 

Besides being a stellar find I do think your little froggie has a special eye for style with that cool nudi! A fashionista!

 

All the best, Carol

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Amazing shots Ellen! Incredible finds on the frogfish and the nudi! Congratulations! Robyn

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Congratulations!!! it is very beautiful!!! :D:D

 

If I ever find something like this I will probably be with a fisheye or something like that!! :P

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Wow! so very unique and special. Thanks for sharing!!

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Thanks for all the comments, everyone!

 

To give another idea of the size....

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And the transparent spots...

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That's just nuts! What a great find. Congrats Ellen thanks for sharing. :D

 

Steve

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In a million years I would never have seen something so itty bitty. I have lasic-inspired 20/10 vision ... and I still wouldn't have seen it.

 

Critter spotting isn't so much about visual acuity as it is knowledge, patience and mindfulness.

 

So very cool ... thanks so much for sharing and inspiring me to pay EVEN MORE attention to the little stuff!

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Reminder to self - to wear my contact lenses on every dive! No doubts, I would have missed it. Terrific photos and story.

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Love the froggie (who looks a bit bumfoozled that someone noticed him!) and that's a darn gorgeous nudi!

 

What fun to find these two together!

 

Linda

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What a fantastic story and a fantastic set of pictures! Thanks so much for posting this. Amazing :)

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guau... this is a BIG animal, take care of it :)

a very interesting pics, congratulations!

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That's what you call Macro !!

 

amazing pics and find

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