SHARK, HAWKSBILL TURTLE, LIONFISH & MUCH MORE
AROUND THE REEF IN UNDER 3 MINUTES
By Fred Riger, Grand Bahama Scuba
A BAHAMAS CRAB FEAST ON ABACO & BEYOND
The photos below show a sample of the types of crab that may be found in and around the island of Abaco, both in the sea and on land. The wonderful underwater images were taken in adjacent waters by Melina Riger of Grand Bahama Scuba. The rest were taken by landlubbers at Rolling Harbour on the Delphi beach and rather closer to the building than one might expect. The last crab (and the header image) was a crab hooshed out of the coppice by Ricky Johnson to demonstrate its fighting prowess. I have put links to 2 posts featuring this fine specimen (including a video) at the end.
PS thanks to Nick Kenworthy for species comments + knowing the Latin names; also Clare for the Limulus
I have a growing number of links with wildlife sites of various kinds. There is plenty of useful info out there, and sometimes there is a feature so useful that, with permission, it is well worth bringing to Rolling Harbour. So with all due thanks to Jody at BEACH TREASURES I am adding a very useful marine life information document. In it, you will find some detai about 15 marine creatures, including sea urchins, sea stars, sea anemones, sea hares, chitons, hermit crabs and turbans.
It also includes the octopus in its recent plural form ‘octopi‘. This got me thinking about the etymology of the creature’s name, the plural of which I learned as the traditional Greek-derived octopodes, with the alternative modern alternative octopuses. The latter is the commonest usage, certainly in the UK. Octopi is a more recent coinage based on a probable misapprehension of the word’s root. There is also an argument, via latin, for octopedes. Many dictionaries will give the first 3, some with the comment that octopodes is ‘pedantic'; or that octopi is ‘incorrect’. I suspect octopi is gaining ground, and it has the benefit of (a) simplicity (b) not sounding pompous and (c) not sounding like the plural of a James Bond book: “I’ll have 3 Octopussies please…”
THE FASTEST CREATURES BY LAND AND SEA
THE BEACH CHAIR SCIENTIST has posted a neat comparative chart of the relative speeds of creatures from humans to… the fastest. I’ve seen all-land comparisons before and all-sea ones, but not a mix. I think it emphasises the differences more vividly.
LIONFISH: UNINVITED GUESTS IN THE BAHAMAS
The dreaded, invasive and venomous lionfish is on my list of creatures to post about. Their existence and rapid increase in the waters of the Bahamas is a cause of great concern, and they are keenly hunted. Last year’s inaugural Lionfish Derby on Green Turtle Cay brought in more than 1400 of these creatures in the day, ranging in size from a 57mm juvenile to a 349mm fish. Here, from THE ABACO SCIENTIST is where in the world the 2 species of Lionfish ought by rights to be. Well away from the Caribbean, that’s where!
Here are a couple of great Lionfish photos from GRAND BAHAMA SCUBA where you will find consistently high quality dive photos of fish (from sharks ‘up close and personal’ to damselfish) and corals (thanks to Fred & Melinda Riger for use approval)
REEF FISH ID CHART
LOOKING FOR WHALES AND DOLPHINS? THEY’VE SWUM OFF TO THEIR OWN PAGE… CLICK HERE
For all other marine life, stick with this page
FISH CAUGHT OFF THE DELPHI BEACH 2010- 11
CLICK LINK below for details of some of the fish that have been taken from the beach or the rocks at either end – there’s more out there in the sea than bonefish. The largest fish weighed 17lbs…
MORE REEF FISH AT FOWL CAY MARINE PRESERVE
Here are some more stills of reef fish taken from the video of our reef-snorkelling trip to Fowl Key with Abaco Above and Below. I’ll add the fish IDs gradually. The first batch are images of individual fish; the second batch is a sequence showing a queen parrot fish feeding on small fish (?gobies) – images that I’d expect David Attenborough to describe in his quiet and breathy way as “really quite extraordinary”, especially if he has seen the general standard of pics in this blog…
- BLUEHEAD WRASSE (Thalassoma bifasciatum)
PREDATORY QUEEN PARROTFISH (CUE JAWS-STYLE THEME MUSIC)
THE ONE THAT GOT AWAY
THE ONES THAT DIDN’T
* * * * * * * *
You may have seen turtles when out on a skiff or on a ferry. Were they Green Turtles? Hawksbill? Loggerhead? Leatherback? Can you tell the difference? To check here’s a useful ID card from SEATURTLES.ORG CLICK LINK —››› TURTLE ID CARD
Here are some reef fish / coral reef images. [using a thing called 'Gallery' - Stop Press: hopeless, now ditched] Trial and error, frankly. These are also stills painstakingly extracted from the video. A bit murky. But visibility not helped by the fact that it was intermittently raining up top, so little or no sunlight. I’ll match IDs to the fish gradually, but the pictures are more interesting, surely. I’m rather out of my depth here… so if any reef fish aficionado out there wants to shortcut my researches, that would be a kindness.
Yellowtail Snapper Ocyurus chrysurus
Sergeant major; sea fan coral (what’s the left-hand one, anyone?)
Sergeant Major and (?) Pillar Coral
Blue Tang Surgeonfish (Acanthurus coeruleus)
NOW: see more reef fish
CLICK LINK—->>>>>REEF FISH PARTS 1 & 2
STING RAY, FOWL CAY MARINE PRESERVE March 2011
Using a self-inflicted and tortuous process involving taking ‘screen grab’ stills of a video taken while snorkelling, and converting them into jpegs, I present the first shy uploads in the Marine Life section. It’s a sting ray. It’s not very good, is it? But the creature is turning and disappearing under the reef. Surely you can see that. I’m not Hans (or indeed Lottie) Hass.
WHALE AND DOLPHIN SIGHTINGS Feb /Mar 2011
[NOW see all whale & dolphin posts on dedicated sub-page ]
[Note: the bonefish mark the main Delphi Club fishing areas]
DANGER – WORK IN PROGRESS
PAGE UNDER TENTATIVE CONSTRUCTION
WAIT FOR IT… At some stage there will be images from a (very) amateur video I took while reef snorkelling on a trip with six other Club guests to Fowl Cay Reserve with Kay Politano of Abaco Above and Below. I hadn’t used a snorkel for about 40 years and had to practice in the pool. I hadn’t used a video camera before either. Despite these obvious disadvantages, I kept the gadget recording and obtained some excellent footage of reef fish and coral. Once I have found out how to extract stills, I will post some images and you will be spared the nausea-inducing camera shake…