ABOUT

Avid outdoorsman and underwater photographer, Barry Brown has spent the last 12 years documenting life above and below water in Curacao, Netherlands Antilles. He is currently working with the Smithsonian Institution documenting new Caribbean deep-water species and building a one of a kind database. His underwater images can regularly be seen in Sport Diver, Scuba Diver and on the Ikelite website. His image of a "Collage of Corals" seen under blue-light at night recently placed in the TOP 10 images for the 2014 NANPA (North American Nature Photographers Association) photo contest.

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Archive for the ‘Crabs + Shrimp + Lobsters’

May 11, 17     Comments Off on Red-Spotted Hermit Crab, Deep-Sea Crabs, New Finds

Hi all, today I have a beautiful three inch, red-spotted hermit crab for your viewing pleasure compliments of the world famous Smithsonian Institution and Substation Curacao. My long time followers already know the love I have for crabs and invertebrates but hermit crabs in general hold a special place in my little heart. I love the eyes more than anything and the way they carry their homes around exploring the sea-bottoms on a daily basis, it’s most likely where the name “mobile home” came from… Over the years I have photographed a wide variety of hermits with the most famous being the little tusk shell hermits that have just blown everyone away who has seen them, use my search box to check those out. On this trip to St. Eustatius we didn’t have our invertebrate scientists onboard they were more interested in the fish and sponges then anything else but with that said I did get to shoot some amazing crabs which you will be seeing here and on Twitter. If your searching for me on Twitter type in @SquidLover3 then sign up and follow, it’s as easy as that.

Lots to do as usual, have a great day.

Barry

May 20, 16     Comments Off on Giant Underwater Hermit Crab, Curacao Crabs
Feb 1, 16     Comments Off on Yellowline Arrow Crab, Stenorhynchus seticornis
Jan 27, 16     Comments Off on Three Colorful Red Shrimps, Cinetorhynchus manningi
Jan 21, 16     Comments Off on Spotted Spiny Lobsters, Panulirus guttatus
Dec 1, 15     Comments Off on Spotted Cleaner Shrimp, Periclimenes yucatanicus
Nov 13, 15     Comments Off on Deep Sea Giant Hermit Crab, Dardanus insignis
Nov 6, 15     Comments Off on Dark Mantis Shrimp, Neogonodactylus curacaoensis
Nov 4, 15     Comments Off on Crab Molts, Tidal Spray Crab Skeleton Molt
Oct 19, 15     Comments Off on Hermit Crabs from Playa Jeremi, Underwater Hermit
Apr 29, 15     Comments Off on Orange ghost shrimp-Corallianassa longiventris
Apr 7, 15     Comments Off on Spotted Spiny Lobster Video, Ikelite Vega’s

Good morning friends, how was your Easter holiday??? The Caribbean Easter Bunny found our little house and dropped off some yummy Belgian chocolates and a new cycling jersey, talk about being surprised! We had 4 days off so as you can imagine I have been very busy with my normal tasks of taking photos, cleaning mountain bike trails, walking the dogs, collecting drift-wood, long bike rides and of course diving, I need a another day off just to recover from all the fun!

I get countless requests for lobster photos so I took those requests one step further and jumped in to the sea late at night friday and shot a fun video clip for you all of a Spotted Spiny Lobster, Panulirus guttatus. Normally any lobster I find on any given night dive is VERY SHY and will immediately backup into their caves and disappear from sight as they are not big fans of light, but not this one! Lobsters are so cool and so much fun to watch, it’s no wonder they are at the top of fun creatures to find out on the reef at night. During the day these animals are hidden deep under the reef in caves and crevices and only come out at night to feed. I used a Go pro 3 attached to the new Ikelite Tray with one Ikelite VEGA video light (on low power) with a diffuser for this clip, it’s honestly the easiest, “even a caveman can do it” kind of videography!

Unlike the true, or clawed, lobsters, spiny lobsters have long, thick, spiny antennae and lack large pinching claws. The Spotted Spiny Lobster (Panulirus guttatus) occurs from Bermuda to Suriname, with populations in southeastern Florida, in the Bahamas, and throughout the Caribbean Sea. Unlike the Caribbean Spiny Lobster (Panulirus argus), which has a largely overlapping distribution, P. guttatus is of limited commercial interest throughout most of its range. On some islands, however, it contributes significantly to satisfying the demand for luxury seafood.

Panulirus guttatus is an obligate reef-dweller, rarely leaving the confines of the reef, and found especially on the fore reef. Several early studies of P. guttatus in Florida investigated the sex ratio, size distribution, and reproductive seasonality of a population living at man-made jetties near Miami Beach. Based on data from their study in the Florida Keys, Sharp et al. (1997) concluded that an individual P. guttatus spends its entire benthic life on a small portion of the fore reef, perhaps even on a single spur. Panulirus guttatus adults forage on the reef at night. They spend the day in dens that extend deep into the reef. There is some indication that males may guard den entrances to protect harems of females from other males. This behaviour has been observed in P. argus both in the laboratory and in the field. The sheltering requirements of P. guttatus appear to be much more specific than those of P. argus. This restriction of acceptable shelter characteristics for P. guttatus may be the primary factor controlling the abundance of this obligate reef-dweller.

I have a very busy day on tap, lots to do!!

Enjoy the clip…

Barry

Mar 20, 15     Comments Off on Two Banded Coral Shrimps in a Vase Sponge
Feb 20, 15     Comments Off on Channel Clinging Crab, Mithrax spinosissimus

Good morning friends, wiped out this morning after a long evening of mountain biking in crazy heat and horrible wind, it’s like I tell visiting friends, “it’s not the trails that will kill you, it’s the weather”! I recently put together a new 20 mile loop consisting of all the trails I have built over the years. It has some really technical sections, fast downhills and rolling single-track and for sure is not for everyone.. but I love it!

Aimee called me yesterday from home saying that two big iguana’s had walked into our house and were fighting in our entry-way at the bottom of our steps, I asked, “did you get it on video or at least a photo” NO was the answer! But how cool is that?

I have a monster sized Channel Clinging Crab for you all today that we found out on the reef hunting for food late at night! Look at the size of those claws?? For the most part one can observe these guys up close and personal if your careful with your lights and remain still, we really love finding them and watching them climb all over the reef!

Most of you divers know this species by the common name Channel Clinging Crab, but it turns out that it has several other common names, including Reef Spider Crab, and Spiny Spider Crab, among others. The crab’s scientific name is Mithrax spinosissimus, and that designation stays the same, independent of the common name, which varies from place to place. This crab is a true crab’ (as opposed to, say, a hermit crab), and belongs to the Majidae family.

Majidae tend to have long slender legs just like this example above which is why the common names of many species in this family include the word spider’. Majids also tend to have little hairs or bristle-like structures on their carapaces. Bits of material like algae, sponge, and so on attach to those hairs and act as part of the crab’s camouflage.

Note that the walking legs of this species also are rather hairy, and are covered with stuff’ while the business end of the crab those impressive claws, are smooth.

Like so many reef creatures, this species forages mainly at night. During the day, they hunker in the reefs, under ledges, and in cavelets. Because of their size, they can’t wiggle into small cervices like so many smaller species can do. Still, they can be difficult to spot during the day, since their decorated carapaces blend so well with their surroundings.

These crabs inhabit a range from the sub-tropical western Atlantic to the Caribbean. They can be found in reef areas along the coasts of southern Florida, through the Bahamas and the Turks and Caicos Islands, and throughout much of the Caribbean.

We have another submersible dive at 11:00 so I need to get ready to dive.

Tomorrow I’m headed out to hopefully find a new home for our four land tortoises, will keep you posted.

Have a wonderful weekend!

Barry

Feb 18, 15     Comments Off on Batwing Coral Crab, Carpilius corallinus, Crabs

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