Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Recent Tioman Dive - Goby & Shrimp Symbiosis

Gobies sometimes form symbiotic relationships with other species. Some goby species live in symbiosis with burrowing shrimps. The shrimp maintains a burrow in the sand in which both the shrimp and the goby fish live. The shrimp has poor eyesight compared to the goby, but if it sees or feels the goby suddenly swim into the burrow, it will follow. The goby and shrimp keep in contact with each other, the shrimp using its antennae, and the goby flicking the shrimp with its tail when alarmed. These gobies are thus sometimes known as watchman gobies. Each party gains from this relationship: the shrimp gets a warning of approaching danger, and the goby gets a safe home and a place to lay its eggs.

Here's one eye-balling me out as I approach its domain.

A yellow-coloured goby and the shrimp cleaning its burrow at foreground of the picture.

Same colour but different goby at keeping watch at another burrow.

Striped goby and the partner shimp just beside it.

This specie has beautiful electric-blue specks. Its just so hard to get near to see all its splendor.

How the pictures were taken:
  • Stealth approach.
  • Make sure that there's just sand between you and the subject.
  • Lots of patience and inch your way towards the burrow. You are being watched from a distance and any sudden movement will cause them to dive into the burrow.
  • Breathe and exhale slowly as the bubbles are very "noisy" underwater.

What the photographers have to put up with:
After a while, the sand puffers get used to your presence and get really, really close to you ... right into your face and lens. As my dive buddy found out, they do 'nibble' at you. No harm in their nibbles but the unexpected 'attention' can scare the crap out of you.

"Hey! Do the right thing. Be a man!"

- Russel Peters -

Recent Tioman Dive - Nudis

Nudibranch (pronounced noo-dee-brank) comes from Latin nudus meaning "naked", and Greek brankhia meaning "gills". It is a shell-less sea-slug and have no less than 1,000 species identified to date.

A pair of Chomodoris 'something' mating.

Monday 7/May 2007 - Contribution by Anon:

Possibly an orange colored variation of Chromodoris colemani

"Dejected" nudi heading under the rock to drown its sorrows. Just kidding. This was shot during another dive and has slightly different markings.

Pteraeolidia ianthina is one of a group of remarkable aeolid nudibranchs which are way ahead of man in harnessing solar energy. Pteraeolidia has evolved a method of capturing and farming microscopic plants (zooxanthelle) in its own body. The plants flourish in this protected environment and as they convert the sun's energy into sugars, they pass a significant proportion on to the nudibranch for its own use.

Cadlinella ornatissima
Monday 7/May, 2007 - Many thanks to Anon for providing the identification for this nudie.

Sunlight Underwater

Sun rays are very pretty underwater. They dance around like some disco light and gracefully reach into the depths to light the world beneath the surface.

Not all shots come out as desired. This is one of the many testifying that more practice is required. In the Open Water Diver course, we are taught never to hold our breath underwater. How to shoot an upward shot without your bubbles getting in the way like that? There are ways, like the previous picture proved.

Recent Tioman Dive - Misc

Juvenile fishes staying close to their refuge between the hard corals.

Closeup of a Dendronepthya (soft) coral.

Hermit-crab peeking from under its shell.

Juvenile scorpionfish.

Blue-spotted Ray.

Closeup of the gills of a Feather-duster worm.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

King of the Sky

They soar high on wind currents and dive down with incredible speed and agility. Stand by with your camera for an amazing show of feeding eagles.

On the lookout...

Missed shooting the dive but here he is coming out of the dive...

The strike! Sorry 'bout the out of focus bit. They are so fast that my lenses could not keep up.

Here's another just after the strike...

This had a different pattern..

Having a go at lunch..

Great Ball of Fire!!

After a scorching hot day, this makes the day worthwhile. One of my fave part of the day when there's nothing that needs to be done but admire the beauty of the sunset.