Nemos a.k.a. false clown anemonefish (Amphiprion ocellaris) are surprisingly brave, if not aggressive. They’ll come out of their anemone and try to intimidate larger fish or scuba divers. The pink anemonefish (Amphiprion perideraion) is far more shy. It is quite happy to stay hidden among the tentacles of an anemone and wait until the danger has past. This little fish has made home in a sebae anemone (Heteractis crispa). Seen at Horseshoe reef near Cape Manza, Okinawa, Japan.
A few of the amazing creatures living in Okinawa’s ocean. The top photo is of the male ribbon eel (Rhinomuraena quaesita). Amazingly, some blue male ribbon eels change to bright yellow female ribbon eels in later life. This next fish is a honeycomb grouper (Epinephelus merra) whose spots help camouflage it while on the reef. It was also named “Fish most likely to turn into a giraffe.” Next is a Naia pipefish (Dunckerocampus naia) which was about 3 centimeters long. Similar to a seahorse, but less pretentious. The striped puffer (Arothron manilensis) looks like it’s wearing prison uniform. It’s a relative of the tiger blowfish (Takifugu rubripes) that occasionally kills diners with its tetrodotoxin poison. The black-finned snake eel (Ophichthus altipennis) watches the world swim by from its hole in the sand. This tiny Dinah’s goby ( Lubricogobius dinah ) didn’t have to bother making a hole, it was quite happy with a ready-made glass bottle. Just as tiny was this sea cucumber crab (Lissocarcinus orbicularis) living on the surface of a sea cucumber. And even smaller was this tiny emperor shrimp (Periclimenes imperator) who …
Back in the water again and also hitting the marine species identification books for a job we are working on. Finally learning the names of the creatures I’ve been staring at or photographing the last couple of decades. The top featured image is a pink anemonefish (Amphiprion perideraion) I encountered last week. Looking back through my old images I can start working out what they are. A tomato clownfish (Amphiprion frenatus) living in a bubble-tip anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor). Hard to tell, but I think this next guy is Amphiprion clarkii, known commonly as Clark’s anemonefish. A false clown anemonefish (Amphiprion ocellaris). This is Nemo’s species. Another pink anemonefish (Amphiprion perideraion) Identifying the anemones is an even greater challenge. Particularly, as at times what looks like an anemone may in fact be a coral. Below is Amplexidiscus fenestrafer that is sometimes called the elephant ear anemone but is more accurately named the giant cup mushroom coral. Much more learning to be done.
Shawn, Hiroshi and I went out for a dive at Cape Maeda, and for the first time in a while I set up the underwater camera rig. Our main goal was to find a frogfish Shawn had previously spotted. We found him sitting on the second reef at about 25 meters deep, his pelvic and pectoral fins acting like little feet. Other creatures I snapped on our dives were nudibranchs (sea slugs), anemonefish (Nemo), and trumpetfish (both silver and yellow species). As it was a Saturday, summer, glorious weather, and a famous spot, Maeda was packed with people. By mid-morning there was a line all the way up the steps of people waiting to get in. (A quick P.S.A. to a couple of snorkelers we saw: if you must ignore the line and push past all the people waiting, you might want to cover up your USMC tattoos so you’re not such poor ambassadors to your corps.) Maeda’s popularity, particularly with new divers, does have a negative impact on the reef. Ideally, divers should …
I’m now making a daily posting of a photo to Instagram. So if you’d like to see a pretty pic from my travels everyday then please follow me @chrisinokinawa !
The September/October issue of Action Asia magazine is now on sale (print and iPad) and has a four-page feature on scuba diving in Okinawa. It’s always good to see your writing and pics in print, especially when it will help boost tourism to Okinawa. I have several more features for other magazines coming out over the next few months, but until they’ve been published I can’t say when, where, or the subject. Stay tuned 🙂
I have a feature on scuba diving, and the cover photo, in the May 2014 edition of Dragonair’s Silkroad magazine. Along with the cover, most of the photos used with the feature are also mine, but unfortunately I didn’t have any decent Hammerhead shark images. A big thanks to all my diver buddies who helped providing quotes or posing for pics! Underwater images shot with the Pentax K5 or K5IIs in an Ikelite underwater housing.
I’m not diving this weekend but was able to sort out a few more shots from recent dives. Here’s Hiroshi my dive buddy of many years with his camera rig. ( Note the correct use of buoyancy control so that he hovers in the water rather than clambers over the coral. ) And here’s another shot of the fantastic ball of Silver-stripe round herrings that gathered at Cape Maeda the last couple of weeks.
Went for an early afternoon dive at Maeda yesterday. The place was heaving with people, but happily it was also heaving with fish as giant shoals were congregating just above the reef. I spent an hour and a half sitting beneath the shoal watching it pulsate. Took many pictures and even tried shooting video. Not sure if the fish are even sardines, in which case the title would be something like… School’s Out For Summer Shoal Power Something Fishy’s Going On….
No recent diving pics, so I thought I post one from last year I hadn’t got around to uploading. There is quite a lot of backscatter from debris in the water, but still nice to have found Nemo and friends. Pentax K5 SMC Pentax DA Fish-eye 10-17mm Ikelite Housing with two Ikelite DS-161 strobes