July-December 2022 PODs

Bill’s “Pictures of the Day”

from the second half of 2022

If the structures get your interest we should understand that they come from nudibranchs. In this case a Goniobranchus. Here he is sitting on the black telescope felt.

Here is a nice little Hypselodoris apolegma from the Philippines. It is alway a question about where nudibranchs get their colors and toxins. Hypselodoris like this one often make these types of compounds de-novo. In any case for you non-chemists here he is sitting on the black telescope felt stage.

Here is a nice little fire worm from our first night dive (not blackwater but in the water column) in the Philippines.

From Alor on the Samambaia

Here is a nice little Garibaldi from a recent dive at Anacapa. This is the State of California Official Saltwater Fish and he was telling me to back off.

Here is a nice little orange frogfish (about a half inch long) from our recent trip to Indonesia.

Here is a nice little Trapani toddi, sitting on the black telescope felt stage, from our recent trip to Indonesia. This guy was tough to identify since the books all say it is only from Hong Kong and the Red Sea. Apparently they are now in Indonesia (and the Philippines as well).

Here is one of my favorite anemone fish, the spinecheek. One question that I always wonder about is how do larval fish find their home? This guy Premnas biaculeatus lives only in a single type of anemone. Here the anemone is growing underneath a bunch of hard coral. Recent studies suggest that incoming larval fish can identify an empty anemone from one that has a single fish from one that has a pair. What they are smelling is still a mystery to me.

Here is a nice little Larvacean from our recent trip to Indonesia, shot on a blackwater dive. Larvaceans are tunicates that remain pelagic. The house you see around him is made up of polysaccharide and cellulose (?) and is discarded often.  "A 10-year time-series study of the water column off Monterey Bay, California, revealed that the discarded mucus feeding structures of giant larvaceans carry a substantial portion of the upper ocean's productivity to the deep seabed."

On our recent Indonesia trip on the Samambaia we did a lot of black water dives. Here is a juvenile cowfish (calf fish??) from a dive in the Banda Sea.

Here is a nice little nudibranch (Unknown to Bill), probably a Trapania but maybe Aegeris. Nothing quite like it in Gosliner et. al. Sitting on the black telescope stage.

In the middle of the Banda sea there is an island called Manuk, home to lots of sea snakes. Here is a pretty average pic but you get the sense. I don't like snakes much but this guy Laticauda semifasciata called erabu is apparently well loved in Japan. The erabu snake is a winter staple in southern Japan, where it is believed to replenish a female's womanhood. Irabu soup “irabu-jiru” (ja:イラブー汁) is said to taste like miso and a bit like tuna. This soup was a part of the royal court cuisine of Ryukyu Kingdom; it is thought to have analeptic properties. This female was 3-4 feet long.

Here is a little slug from Banda. I think it is a head shield slug but can't find it in the normal textbooks.

There is indeed a species of nudibranch Phylliroe that are completely pelagic. They look like a little fish and swim around to catch jellies which they then attach to and eat. Here is one from our recent trip to Banda on a black water dive.

Here is a nice little Christmas Tree Worm from a dive in Banda on our last trip. I love these guys, and have tons of pics.

In the category of "things we used to shoot” are these fire dart gobies, Nemateleotris magnifica (I wish I was a magnifica) which I still think are pretty. 

For your Christmas day, here is a nice little Martadoris limaciformis (used to be a Tambja) from our recent trip to Indonesia. Here he is on the black telescope felt stage.

Here is a nice little sea hare Stylocheilus striatus (cool blue spots) that we often see in large piles. This guy is from our recent trip on the Samambaia and is sitting on the black telescope felt. These guys are one of only a very few species that eat cyanobacteria. From the bacteria they sequester aplysiatoxin a very potent compound with very specific and high activity against a variety of cancer types (breast, lung, colon and others). In any case good to know that cool sea creatures have some chemistry to teach us.

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