ABOUT

Avid outdoorsman and underwater photographer, Barry Brown has spent the last ten 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 ‘Bony Fish’

Feb 23, 15     Comments Off

BAR-

Good morning from Curacao, how was your weekend out there?? We finally got a few little rain showers but to be honest it didn’t do much!! On my three hour mountain bike ride Sunday morning I was pretty shocked at how dry the island is looking, I hate the thought of another year of drought conditions!

We found yet another bird (big pigeon) in need last night over at our neighbors house, it was just sitting on the steps and not moving very much. I watched for awhile from a distance and then towards dark went to check on him again and he was still there. I calmly walked up the steps, he didn’t move so I picked him up and took him home, he seems to have a bad foot or something, will take him to the vet on Wednesday.

I have a Red Hind sea bass for you all today being cleaned by a little neon colored Sharknose goby. This is quite the situation. You have a big fish- eating sea bass allowing a tiny goby to swim all over it’s body, it’s a case of “you clean me and remove all my parasites and I won’t eat you”, sounds like a plan to me! These Red Hinds are very difficult to get close to, they are scared of their own shadows and rarely have I ever been able to get close enough for a photo. I think in this case he was pre-occupied with getting cleaned and although alarmed let me move in close enough for a photo but usually one shot is all you will get! This variety of sea bass is VERY common on our Caribbean reefs, they can reach a maximum length of about 2-feet and can be found in the 10-160 foot range.

Busy Monday on tap….

Have a great day all.

Barry

Feb 19, 15     Comments Off

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Good morning from Curacao!! I have two different species of Caribbean Goatfish for you all today. The top photo is a beautiful school of Yellow Goatfish, Mulloidichthys martinicus and the bottom photo shows a Spotted Goatfish, Pseudupeneus maculatus at night in it’s “inactive color phase”. During the day the Spotted Goatfish (seen here in reds) looks almost the same as the Yellow Goatfish at the top, both species have the crazy ability to change colors in the blink of an eye, it’s again just one of those weird things you have to see to believe!! Goatfish remind me of goats on land, they will eat just about anything and spend most of their days digging in the sand, silt and algae for food, they are not picky eaters! They use their chin barbels (long finger like projections under the mouth) to probe the sand as they search for the mollusks, worms and crustaceans that they feed on. While many goatfishes occur singly, the yellow goatfish is a school-forming species. It regularly occurs in large groups (numbering in the hundreds) during the day and will sometimes even form mixed schools with the blueline snapper (Lutjanus kasmira). At night, yellow goatfish schools break-up and solitary individuals or small groups disperse onto surrounding sand patches to feed. This species is very similar to the spotted goatfish (Pseudupeneus maculatus). The latter species has a yellow lateral stripe, a feature that is lacking in the spotted goatfish, and a longer snout. The yellow stripe of the yellow goatfish changes into an oblong dusky blotch when the fish is hunting for food. The yellow goatfish reaches a size between 6-12 inches while the spotted goatfish grows to 5-8 inches. Spotted goatfish are normally never found below 60 feet while the yellows are commonly spotted down to 200 feet, that’s quite a difference in range.

We have a submersible run in 30 minutes and I have a long mountain bike ride going on late this afternoon, busy day on tap!

Have a great day…

Barry

Feb 16, 15     Comments Off

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Hi all, so very sorry about the no blogs for the past four days but I have been crazy busy! On thursday and friday we had sub dive after sub dive, then came Valentines, and yesterday was spent entertaining friends from the Smithsonian. Yesterday was also the last day of Carnival and today monday is an official day off giving all involved in Carnival a day of needed rest. I’ve also been out in the desert cleaning the 2006 World Cup mountain bike course for the past 2 weeks trying hard to get that mess cleaned and rideable, boy you want to talk about a big project! I did a fast two hour ride Sunday morning before I met the Smithsonian and then in the evening Aimee and I took the dogs out for a long two hour walk, it’s been go, go, go!

I have a super cool, two inch Slender Filefish, Monacanthus tuckeri for you all today that I found hiding in a swaying gorgonian. These little fish are completely amazing and a thrill to watch! This fish has the ability to change colors in the blink of an eye and honestly if you don’t see it yourself it’s hard to imagine and describe! Above you can see him or her blending in with the dark background and without my lights or flash you would be challenged to spot this animal on your own. These fish normally drift with their heads down and tails up among the gorgonian forests pecking at bits of algae or finding tiny shrimps. If they leave this dark environment and float into a lighter coral, they will usually change their colors before they reach their destination and I swear if you take your eyes off this fish for a second it is gone!!! These fish also have a cool spine at the top of their heads that can be raised or lowered and is used for it’s own protection. The fish also has hundreds of tiny bards all over it’s body enabling it to hook itself if you will to the swaying corals to help it stay in one place which works great at night during sleep.

Filefish (also known as foolfish, leatherjackets or shingles) are tropical to subtropical tetraodontiform marine fish of the diverse family Monacanthidae. Found in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, the filefish family contains approximately 107 species in 26 genera. Filefish are closely related to the triggerfish, pufferfish and trunkfish.

Their laterally compressed bodies and rough, sandpapery skin inspired the filefish’s common name; it is said that dried filefish skin was once used to finish wooden boats.

Appearing very much like their close relatives the triggerfish, filefish are rhomboid-shaped fish that have beautifully elaborate cryptic patterns. Deeply keeled bodies give a false impression of size when these fish are viewed facing the flanks. Filefish have soft, simple fins with comparatively small pectoral fins and truncated, fan-shaped tail fins; a slender, retractable spine crowns the head. Although there are usually two of these spines, the second spine is greatly reduced, being used only to lock the first spine in the erect position; this explains the family name Monacanthidae, from the Greek monos meaning “one” and akantha meaning “thorn”. Some species also have recurved spines on the base of the tail (caudal peduncle).

The small terminal mouths of filefish have specialized incisor teeth on the upper and lower jaw; in the upper jaw there are four teeth in the inner series and six in the outer series; in the lower jaw, there are 4-6 in an outer series only. The snout is tapered and projecting; eyes are located high on the head. Although scaled, some filefish have such small scales as to appear scaleless. Like the triggerfish, filefish have small gill openings and greatly elongated pelvic bones creating a “dewlap” of skin running between the bone’s sharply keeled termination and the belly. The pelvis is articulated with other bones of the “pelvic girdle” and is capable of moving upwards and downwards in many species to form a large dewlap (this is used to make the fish appear much deeper in the body than is actually the case). Some filefish erect the dorsal spine and pelvis simultaneously to make it more difficult for a predator to remove the fish from a cave.

The largest filefish species is the scrawled filefish (Aluterus scriptus) at up to 110 cm (43 in) in length; most species are below 60 cm (24 in) in length. There is marked sexual dimorphism in some species, with the sexes possessing different coloration, different body shapes, and the males with larger caudal spines and bristles.

Adult filefish are generally shallow water fish, inhabiting depths of no more than about 30 meters. They may be found in lagoons or associated with seaward reefs and seagrass beds; some species may also enter estuaries. Some species are closely associated with dense mats of sargassum, a particularly ubiquitous “sea weed”; these filefish, notably the planehead filefish (Stephanolepis hispidus) are also colored and patterned to match their weedy environments.

Either solitary, in pairs or small groups depending on the species, filefish are not terribly good swimmers; their small fins confine the fish to a sluggish gait. Filefish are often observed drifting head downward amongst stands of seaweed, presumably in an effort to fool both predator and prey alike. When threatened, filefish may retreat into crevices in the reef.

The feeding habits of filefish vary among the species, with some eating only algae and seagrass; others also eat small benthic invertebrates, such as tunicates, gorgonians, and hydrozoans; and some species eat corals (corallivores). It is the latter two habits which have largely precluded the introduction of filefish into the aquarium hobby.

Filefish spawn at bottom sites prepared and guarded by the males; both he and the female may guard the brood, or the male alone, depending on the species. The young filefish are pelagic; that is, they frequent open water. Sargassum provides a safe retreat for many species, both fish and weed being at the current’s mercy. Juvenile filefish are at risk from predation by tuna and dolphinfish.

Take care…

Barry

Feb 10, 15     Comments Off

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Good morning friends, I have a pair of Honeycomb Cowfish, Acanthostracion polygonia for you all today that I photographed just moments before sunset. Every day here on the Caribbean reef around dusk many species of fish set out to find a mate and spawn before sunset, it’s by far the best time to be out with a camera. These unique looking box shaped Cowfish usually spend the day by them selves but around dusk will set out to find a mate. Once found the Male (in front) usually starts the courtship ritual by bumping into the female, swimming fast circles around her and showing off his beautiful electric colors which they can change in the blink of an eye! I have seen times when two different males are fighting for the same female and it always ends in one male being chased off not to be seen again! These fish are fairly uncommon to see on any given dive and I have never found a baby one, it’s on our top 10 hardest fish to find list! The babies are golden yellow with little red spots and are super cute! These fish can reach a maximum size of about 18 inches and can be found in 20-80 feet of water. Cowfish spend their days awkwardly swimming around sucking algae off rocks and enjoy all kinds of meaty foods including shrimp, worms, clams, various mussels, snails, tunicates, and fish, they are not picky eaters.

The Smithsonian just took off again down in the submersible and will not return for many hours. This trip seems to be more about collecting data than fish as they have not brought up much for yours truly to photograph.

Hope all is well out there…

Later.

Barry

Feb 5, 15     Comments Off

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Good morning friends, the eagle has landed! The trip was great, I got in tons of riding on some of the best trails in Tucson and met up with a bunch of old friends from my years in the fossil business. I stayed with my mom the whole time eating like a king and feasting on some of the best Mexican food in Tucson, boy am I going to miss that! I’m still disappointed in Nikon and their failure to get my camera cleaned and repaired which has been there for over three weeks, I can’t believe I returned without it!

The Smithsonian has arrived once again and will be using our mini-submersible to do research and hunt for new specimens, I will keep you posted on any new finds.

I have school of Mahogany Snappers, Lutjanus mahogoni for your viewing pleasure today that I found hanging out in a beautiful forest of swaying gorgoinans. These fish are fairly easy to approach and photograph if you move in very slow, (never directly towards them) and swim along side them or slowly past them, there is always time for a nice shot or two. These fish are silver to white with a reddish tinge and have a reddish border on their dorsal and anal fins. Also, there is often a dark spot below rear dorsal fin. Mahogany Snappers can be found drifting alone or in small groups (as you see above) over coral reefs, often in the shadows of gorgonians and coral heads in 20-60 feet of water. Their size ranges from 7-12 inches with a maximum length of about 15 inches.

Lots and lots to do today!!

Have a great day….

Barry

Jan 8, 15     Comments Off

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Hi all, it’s been a busy morning again with diving leaving me no time to play on the computer. I took this photo just a few minutes ago at around 65 feet after waving good-bye to the visiting tourists inside the submersible. Once I finish doing my sub photos and it disappears into the abyss I always go on some kind of search to see what is new on the reef today. I honestly can’t resist swimming into this large school of these colorful Bonnetmount’s or Bogas, they are so much fun to hang out with. These fish seem know I’m not a threat and allow me to become part of their school but sticking with them can be very difficult. Not only because they are fast but also because they swim up and down and this is something you can’t do many times on scuba without getting in trouble. They also know that when I’m there no big predatory fish like those dumb amber jacks are going to make a move on, I’m their big human protector! This giant school has been here for years and they make going out to the reef a complete joy, in fact most days they will see me swimming out of the lagoon, they will race over to me and then swim circles around me or play with my bubbles.

Many of you know I’m taking off for a few weeks starting this Sunday for a little vacation, Aimee will stay here with the dogs. I’m headed to Arizona again to help test mountain bikes for Outside Magazine and spend time with my mom and my editor Tom. So, I’m not sure if I will be posting during these weeks or not yet but please check in, you never know.

That’s about it, have a wonderful day!

Barry

Jan 6, 15     Comments Off

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Good morning from the mosquito infested Caribbean! Here’s an intermediate Queen Angelfish, Holacanthus ciliaris for you all today looking about as cute as a fish can be! These young angelfish are by far on the top of my “find list” but regrettably we hardly ever see them and if we do they are usually hard to approach. Now a days when I spot a Queen I follow for as long as it takes in hopes of them swimming into a small protective cave which gives me the only chance of a photo opportunity. Once trapped in their cave they will peer out at me as this one did which is just long enough to get a picture, they are very shy animals!

The Queen angelfish body color can be described as blue to blue-green with yellow rims on its scales. Their pectoral and ventral fins are also yellow but their lips and the edges of their dorsal fins and anal fins are dark blue. Queen angelfish are also known to have blue markings around each gill cover. Juveniles have dark blue bodies with yellow lips, gills, and tail and vertical bars ranging in color from light blue to white. The colors of the juvenile fish help them to blend in with the reefs. The Queen angelfish may live up to 15 years in the wild and reach up to 45 centimeters (17 inches) in length. Queen angelfish are about three and a half pounds.

Like other angelfish, much of its locomotion is produced by the pectoral fins. The outer 40% of each fin can be used to produce up to 80% of the fish’s total thrust.

The Queen angelfish feeds primarily on sponges, but also feeds on tunicates, jellyfish, and corals as well as plankton and algae. Juveniles serve as “cleaners” and feed on the parasites of larger fish at cleaning stations.

The adults are found in pairs year round, perhaps suggesting a long-term monogamous bond. The pairs reproduce by rising up in the water, bringing their bellies close together, and release clouds of sperm and eggs. The female can release anywhere from 25 to 75 thousand eggs each evening and as many as ten million eggs during each spawning cycle. The eggs are transparent, buoyant, and pelagic, floating in the water column. They hatch after 15 to 20 hours into larvae that lack effective eyes, fins, or even a gut. The large yolk sac is absorbed after 48 hours, during which time the larvae develop normal characteristics of free swimming fish. Larvae are found in the water column and feed on plankton. The larvae grow rapidly and about 3–4 weeks after hatching the 15–20 millimeters (0.6–0.8 in) long juvenile settles on the bottom.

Have a wonderful day!!

Barry

Dec 29, 14     Comments Off

BAR-

Good morning friends, just two days away from 2015, can you believe it?? How was Christmas out there?? Did Santa bring you all something wonderful?? My Santa was awesome!!! I scored a super cool, handmade “mountain bike tire belt” which I can hardly wait to wear, a fun shirt with two dinosaurs playing the game of Twister, two fun  and very colorful animal carvings from Oaxaca Mexico (we collect them) and a giant canvas with three of our photos from Peru printed on it. After shredding presents and eating like Kings I took off to meet Mark and Suzi from the World famous Dive Bus Hut for their annual Christmas dive. Aimee was not feeling well enough to join so she stayed home and chilled with the dogs. We did our dive on the west side of the Aquaelectra plant and once in the water swam to the east and back. While the others hunted lionfish I swam from one brain coral to another (which were all different colors and sizes) in search of interesting designs and shooting them with the macro lens. While focused on an interesting brain coral design this very curious Whitespotted Filefish swam right up to me as if to say “what’s ya doing”?? Wow, you want to talk about a curious fish that has zero fear, well your looking at him! I actually had a hard time getting him to leave me alone, not sure if he saw his reflection in the lens or if he had just never seen a diver before but it was a pretty cool encounter! All in all I think I did around 6-7 dives these past four days mainly working on our brain coral project which you guys will see more in the coming days.

Still not feeling well and haven’t been able to ride much, not a very fun December.

Hope all is well out there!!

Barry

Dec 23, 14     Comments Off

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Good morning friends, we are waking up to light rain and overcast skies today which is normal for this time of year. Many of you Curacao natives know we are way behind on the amount of moisture needed to carry this island through another year, so any rain is good rain!

I did two cold dives yesterday in search of more brain corals but I really didn’t find very much. Aimee and I have been working on a brain coral project for over a year and we still have a bunch of searching to do. We are planning on diving on Christmas day during the afternoon at Pier Baai after taking the dogs on a fun outing somewhere along the coast, so if your wanting to join give me a ring.

I did come across this very calm and very colorful Bluestriped Grunt on my dive yesterday and couldn’t resist the urge to stop and take his photo. These fish are so mellow and have such beautiful electric blue stripes, (thus the name) and can reach 18 inches in length! Here is Curacao you normally only see these fish alone hanging out under a coral ledge or near the entrance to a small cave. The common family name is derived from the unusual “grunt” sound produced when teeth grinding deep within their throats is amplified by the air bladder. Grunts are closely related to snappers but are generally smaller (normally between 12 and 18 inches), with more deeply notched tails. They also lack the snappers sharp canine teeth.

I really can’t believe Christmas is days away?? Geez where did this month go?

Starting to really rain now, and I mean it’s coming down!!! I need to go check on my turtles!!

Cheers,

Barry

Dec 16, 14     Comments Off

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Good morning all, I’m in recovery mode from my chikungunya but still a long ways a way from recovered! This horrible stuff cons you into thinking your felling better then knocks you back down, so much fun!

I am still chasing fish around every chance I get trying to get some new “face shots” but this has turned out to be one of the most difficult tasks ever! This parrotfish will go through three major color transformations with the above photo being his or her last and final color called the “Terminal Phase”. As a cute little juvenile they have three rows of widely spaced white spots that run the whole length of their bodies and have a mossy green head with a pinkish belly. As they get older they enter the “Initial Phase” and look nothing at all like the photo above, in fact most divers don’t even know the two fish are one and the same. In the initial phase the fish will have a beautiful red belly and tail and the rest of the fish is different colors of green looking almost camouflage, again it’s hard to believe they will go from this phase to what you see above. In their “Terminal Phase” (above) they are emerald green with salmon to yellow markings on head and fins with a crescent shaped tail.

We are having a quiet week, the Smithsonian is gone and the deep-divers have left, only a few runs later this week with the submersible.

Countdown to Christmas is on!

Barry

Dec 12, 14     Comments Off

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Hello all, most of you have already guessed, I am CRAZY sick!! And not just with a cold or a flu, I have joined the other 11,500 people on Curacao with an illness called…Chikungunya, one of the hands down worst bugs (no pun intended) I have ever had! This is a mosquito transmitted illness and because this is the rainy season it’s the price some of us pay for living in paradise! 

I have a super hidden very camouflaged reef scorpionfish for your viewing pleasure today that we found a few weeks ago on our house reef in front of the Substation. This is the same scorpionfish that we found about a month ago at night that was so beautiful under blue-light but if you remember I only had a macro lens at the time and was only able to photograph his eye. We have been searching like crazy for this guy again (at night) but every time we are out looking for him we never can find him. These scorpionfish rely on the ability to blend in with their environments and have the patience to not move all day. Most divers never even see these fish, that’s how well they blend in. You can swim inches over them and they will not move which is also how many folks get stung by stepping on them, they didn’t get the nickname “stonefish” for nothing. 

It’s back to bed for me, if you don’t hear from me it’s because I am still down!

Hope your holidays are going better than mine!

Barry

Dec 8, 14     Comments Off

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Good morning all, I hope your weekend was better than mine! First off, I came down with some kind of crazy, wacked out Curacao sickness about a week ago and it just seems to be getting worse! Not only did I miss the big extreme race this weekend that I have been training for all year, I had to spend the whole weekend in bed, not fun at all. My symptoms include a stomach that feels sick all the time, burping, back ache, headache and minor joint pain, any ideas out there? I had to come into work today to get some photos prepared for the Smithsonian group but after this note to you I am headed back home.

Last week our team found a beautiful pipefish at 560 feet and I spent friday in the lab photographing it, talk about a thing of beauty. As some of you know there is very little known about deep-sea pipefish and very little to no photos exist so again being the first to see a possible new species and photograph it is quite the honor. The pipefish was around 8 inches in length and I ended up shooting him in a sequence of 7 photos and stitching them together in Photoshop, not sure how I will be able to post a photo so long?

I have three photos for you today showing a common behavior in Surgeonfishes called Aggregations. We have three different surgeonfish here in Curacao, the Blue Tangs, the Ocean Surgeonfish (above) and Doctorfish all of which can be seen swimming in these large aggregations. The top photo shows our Ocean Surgeonfish swimming in a school, the second and third photo show them stopped picking at algae. They do this behavior non-stop all day, swim in a big school seconds later dive onto the reef and eat algae and they could care less about any divers watching and taking their photos.

We see these large groups called “aggregations” on the reef here every single day and I still never seem to get tired of it, they are just so beautiful. Adult surgeonfish have three social modes: territorial, wandering, and schooling. Territorial adults defend their home rage from other members of the species. Schooling adults are not aggressive. Wanderer adults are not aggressive nor do they interact with other individuals like schooling fish do. Wanderers are mostly chased by other fish including blue tangs and damselfishes. Occasionally, Blue Tangs will join in on the fun forming large multi-species aggregations with other surgeonfishes as seen above.

Blue tangs and ocean surgeonfish may benefit from forming schools for two reasons. First, individuals may experience lower rates of predation when feeding in large groups. Second, by feeding in groups, fish might be able to work together to overcome the territorial defenses of other fishes. For example, a single blue tang is easily chased away by an aggressive damselfish defending its territory. However, when a large school of blue tangs and their schoolmates try to feed on algae in a damselfish’s territory, there is little that the damselfish can do. When this occurs, the damselfish frantically, but ultimately fruitlessly, attempts to chase away their more numerous attackers while the school consumes all of the algae in their territories.

All  three Surgeonfish species are active during the day, hiding in crevices on the reef at night to avoid predators.

I can hear Christmas music in the background playin on the radio, hard to believe it’s that time of year already!!??

Back to bed….

Barry

Dec 2, 14     Comments Off

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Good morning friends, it’s not to often I beg for anything but my friend Jon Kramer who lives in Florida and works with wild Manatees has asked me and my loyal readers for a little help. They are tying to raise a little over $4000 and they already have half so please if you are able and have a few minutes this is a major great cause!

All you have to do is copy and paste the address below into your internet browser (above) and donate a few bucks, your not only helping a great friend of ours but also your helping animals that really need our help.

http://www.give2gether.com/projects/giving-tuesday-1/?lang=en&vv=uPPSo_-jQXGpYp2K_bdtrw

I have what looks like a “blue tang with wings” hovering above the reef for your viewing pleasure today. I was quietly parked above a beautiful colony of finger corals watching these little yellow bluehead wrasses who were waiting for any fish to stop so they could get down to the business of doing what they do best….cleaning! Then, out of the blue, no pun intended, this blue tang comes darting in at full speed, puts up his fins like you see above and came to a full and complete stop! His two fins acted just like brakes on a car! Then once parked here came our little workers to inspect the blue tang and remove any little parasites, it was like watching a pit-crew at the Indianapolis 500 changing tires, they were so fast and within seconds the blue tang took off back to the reef.

Busy week here at Substation Curacao, I need to be underwater in 30 minutes!

Have a great day!

Barry

Dec 1, 14     Comments Off

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Good morning all, how was your weekend?? Can you believe it’s December 1st today?? Geez, where did November go?? Or where did this year go?? I still feel like we just got back from Peru but that was way back in April, man does time fly by when your having fun!

I have another comical sleeping parrotfish “face shot” for you all today that we took last week on a night dive. These fish just crack me up the way they lay about the reef most of the times right out in the open acting as if they are under some weird spell but this is how they sleep. Many times waking up a sleeping parrotfish ends with them being so startled that they blindly take off into the darkness in search of a better home which can be bad for the fish as they really have no idea where they are going! I have seen a startled fish swim right into corals or rocks at such high speed doing either damage to their bodies or knocking them out! We always tell divers, “don’t shine the light directly at them” keep the light to the side or diffuse it with your other hand. Think of it like this, your in bed asleep and all of a sudden there is a bright light in your eyes, “it’s panic time”!

My buddy Dorian and I pre-rode the extreme course again this weekend, it was 40 miles of mud and water, not fun at all! This coming weekend is the real Curacao Extreme and if it rains any more the course could be unrideable! We got back to the truck under three hours but we both were completely covered in mud and the poor bikes looked even worse, I guess that’s why it’s called the Extreme.

We have a busy week on tap with the Smithsonian arriving on thursday and a bunch of crazy deep-divers arriving today and tomorrow. They will be doing research on lion-fish that live deep so stayed tuned for more on this story to come.

Have a great day all!!

Barry

Nov 20, 14     Comments Off

BAR-

Good afternoon all, here’s another seldom seen fish called a Rusty Goby, Priolepis hipoliti that we found with the submersible below 200 feet. This is a mega tiny fish, this one here was only three quarters of an inch long and was super hard to photograph. These little reclusive treasures are found in shades of brown to red-brown to orange, iris is red to gold with green pupils. Their most distinctive features include orange spots on dorsal, tail and anal fins and about 9-11 wide dusky body bars. Although these fish are noted as common to South Florida, Bahamas, Caribbean, Northwestern Gulf of Mexico and Bermuda they are seldom seen as they often perch upside down on ceilings of small recesses in reefs or under rocks and boulders. As an adult in it’s terminal phase it will only reach a maximum length of a whopping inch and a half, no wonder they are seldom seen!

We had a fun but freezing cold night dive last night, we were both so glad to get back! We found some cool corals and giant anemones to shoot under the blue-light but never found the orange cup corals, not even sure how that is possible unless they plain don’t fluoresce under blue-light?

Off to go biking, have a great day all…

Barry

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