I finally made it to Lambada Thila with the camera to take some photos of a red anemone(and the associated clownfish). The anemone is growing at about 20m deep which is normal for this type of animal. The colour red is all but non-existent at these depths which makes them all the more special. A lot of their energy is received through photosynthesis via the special algae which lives inside them. This algae has a symbiotic relationship with the anemone which in turn has a symbiotic relationship with the clownfish.
Getting the focus right on these quick little clownfish is a right nightmare with a compact camera like the Canon S95… but I try my best.
Also on Lambada Thila there are plenty of octopus and a small, shy species of moray eel called the White-eye (for some weird reason). The one on the left looks happy enough to get his picture taken- the one on the right is pulling a Derp face.
Finally there were some young batfish during the safety stop. I really like batfish for some reason- they always seem happy to see you.
As always, these photos were taken with a Canon S95 in Patima Housing. Patima make a fairly affordable housing compared to some other comparable manufacturers. Personally I like the compact feel of it… and in case you’re being mugged by an amorous dolphin, you could probably use it as a pretty decent weapon.
…reminds me of a James Herriot country vet book. This very small anenome has variable colours- I boosted them a bit 🙂 Approached too quickly, it withdraws in to its burrow.
Scuba diving in shallow water has its rewards- the dive was over 2hrs long! Max depth…. maybe 5m?
Next up is a couple of shrimp shots. I found a soft coral quite by chance not far from where I normally go critter hunting. There were two beautiful shrimp scurrying around the coral- tough to get the shots while they were on the move!
And finally a awesome little pipefish. I have never seen a green colouring like this one had. It was the ‘normal’ size for a pipefish however it stayed very still expecting its camouflage to save it. My first thought was it was a ‘Stick Pipefish’ which is normally coloured dark brown however the behaviour and attitude was quite different. Stick Pipefish tend to sit up on a 45 degree angle- this pipefish was lying flat on the bottom.
This is a species of sea slug called Philinopsis cyanea. Found in areas with sediment and rough sand, its main prey are small shellfish which it locates by following the slime trail.
Quite a few species exist here in Laamu Lagoon- this is the most colourful one that I have found thus far.
Apparently the slug below (photographed on the same dive) is the same species but with a different colour variation.
Finally (and also on the same dive) is a head-shield slug. This is the first variation of this I have seen. Although small apparently they rip in to their prey and are voracious carnivores.
Finally the last photo (also same dive) is some kind of Headshield Slug. This is the first time I was able to get a photo of this mini-terrorist. They are also carnivores and do unspeakable acts with their digestive system.
This is either a fairly common octopus in a juvenile stage…or an extremely rare mimic octopus normally found in areas like Indonesia.
Any experts out there can tell me?
Depth was around 5m on a sandy bottom. Size pictured here was about 10cm but this was as close as I could get as it immediately withdrew when I tried.
This is an Indian Ocean Waspfish (Ablabys binotatus). Part of the scorpionfish family apparently so they can also inject venom when harrassed. This is the first I have ever found in my life so I was well chuffed today.
I reckon I have found a sweet little spot for macro photography on the House Reef. Now all I need is a $200 macro lense!
For those people wishing to donate to this worthy cause, please address your cheque to ‘Central Association of Sub-aquatic Habitats aka C.A.S.H.
Random and really small anenome that retracts when threatened
This is a new crab for me- hidden amongst the substrate on the lagoon floor. The camouflage was so excellent I can easily understand why I have never seen them before…. however now I have a new challenge. If anyone has an idea what they’re called, I’d much appreciate a heads up. Potentially it is some type of ‘decorator crab’ however it was pretty much naked when I saw it.
It was a strange dive for me. In an area about 5m square I saw the following creatures: 2 mating nudibranchs, a tiny banded pipefish, a beautiful juvenile lionfish, a hermit crab, a peacock sole and some weird looking shellfish.
A few days ago Jude and I jumped on an unexplored reef for a look-see. It was deep by our standards- approx 16m to the top of the reef…..
….however there were a bunch of humungous Green turtles which were relatively calm with our presence. For some reason, the Green turtles here in Laamu are much more wary of divers than the Hawksbill variety.
The photo above was taken at around 30m- not bad quality considering the depth. It was resting on the bottom and I was trying to get Jude in the background- however the extra distance to Jude really affects the quality of the shot as you see below.
Finally this is a different Green turtle -this time at about 20m. It was really relaxed around me but unfortunately I was shooting up towards the afternoon sun. This dive is a ‘deep’ dive on average- it is really only suitable for divers who have very good breathing control to allow maximum time on the bottom.
Wouldn’t you know it… I have been seeing these flatworms (Chelidonura varians) in the lagoon on my last few dives there with guests and of course I never had my camera. So yesterday I made a quick jump and spent…. over an hour looking and found nada.
The battery life on the S95 leaves something to be desired and when the battery icon started flashing I headed back when I came across a pair. A couple of shots and then the camera went flat.
I guess I may have disturbed them and they split up… sorry guys- you should have left a ribbon on the door handle.