Possibly the next Queen song to be ripped off by Justin Bieber…. This is a scorpionfish playing the perfect waiting game. They change colour to match their surroundings and then sit and wait, and wait and sit…. until a wee fish swims in front of their mouth. Suddenly the mouth will open wide, creating a suction effect. Now you see it, now you don’t.
Stonefish and frogfish do pretty much the same thing and again they are insanely camouflaged. I’m sure I swim past at least one frogfish every time I dive on the housereef.
After getting closer and closer I finally annoyed him to where he started to change to a more reddish colour and puff up- much like guys in a New Zealand pub when the police do their rounds.
There is a hint of a smile on its face- but don’t be fooled as the toxin is extremely potent and may send you to hospital. Apparently other fish can eat them without much ill-effect. Possibly something to do with the much slower metabolic rate of cold-blooded animals compared to humans. Just today on facebook, I saw a friend from Egypt who posted a still frame from a video he shot, where a giant moray tried to snack on a stonefish. That’d be a spicy curry.
Not the garden variety. This is commonly called a ‘Warty Slug’ which belongs loosely to the family of nudibranchs. Warty Slugs carry toxins in their skin to deter fishes from feasting on them, and like so many animals in the world, they also advertise their toxicity with bright contrasting colours. Here we see the ‘classic’ combination of black, white and yellow.
This (heavily cropped) photo is really stretching the macro capabilities of my S95, but I wanted to show the bryozoans that the slug was eating. Bryozoans are fairly basic animal life forms, they look like tiny fern trees, and encrust much of the reef wall. They are easier to see on metal objects such as those found on shipwrecks.