Bermuda Daydream

Bermuda Yellowhead Wrasse Ned DeLoach BlennyWatcher.com

In Bermuda, the Yellowhead Wrasse is called a Redback

Isn’t this Yellowhead Wrasse from Bermuda gorgeous? Even though Bermuda shares many of the same species with the rest of the western Atlantic, the island’s geographical isolation has led to some interesting variations. For example, in Bermuda the terminal phase Yellowhead Wrasse has a red back – as can be seen in the photo above. In fact, their common name for this fish is Redback.

Bermuda REEF LIfe app iTunes

All proceeds benefit the Bermuda Zoological Society

Earlier this year, our friend Ron Lucas sent news about the Bermuda Reef Life HD Apple IOS app that was developed for the Bermuda Zoological Society (BZS). It was adapted from Ron’s book, Bermuda Reef Portraits with assistance on fish identification and editing by another good friend and expert REEF surveyor, the lovely Judie Clee (one of the best ever ambassadors for both Bermuda and the oceans). I bought the app, not just because all the proceeds benefit BZS, but also because I was pulling video for a public aquarium project and it proved quite useful for giving me all I needed to know about Bermuda fish and the popular dive sites we had visited. Click here  or on the image to the left to go to the iTunes store to learn more or purchase the app.

 

The Puddingwife wrasse, pastel colored in the Caribbean, is brilliant blue, green and lavender in Bermuda. Normally very shy in other areas, a Bermuda Puddingwife will swim right up to divers. Ron shared this great shot of a Puddingwife in action, right after it grabbed an urchin. In addition to beautiful fish, Bermuda has some stunning hard coral reefs and judging from the photos of some bays the morning after their annual coral spawn, they must be quite healthy.

Puddingwife eating by Ron Lucas

Ron Lucas captured this awesome shot of a Puddingwife just after it grabbed an urchin (from Bermuda)

Bermuda is where we go to photograph life in the Sargassum (see our Spring 2013 Alert Diver article here), where I get to go bottle hunting (some photos of my collection here) and where we always have luck with juvenile fishes, like 2-inch Black Groupers and tiny Hogfish. Ned and I have led two REEF Field surveys there but there is also an active local fish survey team, BREAM, who have not only logged hundreds of fish surveys (and 265 species) to REEF’s database but in their effort to cover all territory have assigned some delightfully fanciful dive site names like Coralicious, Lemon Meringue Reef and Lumpy Bumpy – the names alone make me want to dive them! I’ll pass on Trifling Sandhole Reef, Slimy Sucker Reef and Mini Snake Pit but the names made me giggle. So, on this rainy Monday I’m daydreaming about this lovely little island – a short airline flight and only one time zone away……

Sargassumfish Ned DeLoach BlennyWatcher.com

A Sargassumfish, one of the Bermuda species featured in our Alert Diver article

Photo Friday: Traveling

DeLoach - Hermit in a bottleWhen we travel, I’m often accused of taking the whole house with me. In the case of hermit crabs, they do carry their homes. This one was traveling in a less conventional home. You can watch my video of a hermit crab changing shells and this one on my YouTube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7LJqEW756-Y

Another Coral Mimic

Nudibranch on Xenia coral Ned DeLoach BlennyWatcher.comApril 2013, Halmahera, Indonesia ~ More soft coral mimics! Back in November, I posted a video of a nudibranch, Phyllodesmium rudmani, that mimics the soft coral, Xenia, upon which it feeds (click here to see the previous post). Ned wasn’t with me on that dive so last month, during our cruise through Halmahera aboard the Dewi Nusantara, our guide Yann made sure Ned saw this different species of nudibranch, which I think is Phyllodesmium jakobsenae, another predator of soft coral. Yann found two of them within a few meters of each other. The first, at the base of the soft coral, might be obvious to someone with the search image for the nudibranch. How he spotted the other, nestled into the soft coral polyps, is simply amazing! Watch a short video on our BlennyWatcher YouTube channel or below:

My Bermuda Bottle Collection

Bermuda Bottles Anna DeLoach BlennyWatcher.com

Fresh from the bay – probably nothing to excite a real collector, but fun anyway.

Above are bottles from my first bottle collecting trip ever (October 2012). I know I picked up a thousand Amstel and Heineken bottles  for every “keeper” so while this collection wouldn’t excite more seasoned experts, I was stoked. Since then, I’ve spent many hours in old bookstores and on the net where one place, the Antique Bottles Forum, has been especially helpful. Two months later, equipped with a more discerning eye plus the help of local experts, I fared a little better:

Having learned to stop picking up Amstel and Heineken bottles, I fared a little better the second trip.

Having learned to stop picking up Amstel and Heineken bottles, I fared a little better the second trip.

Bermuda bottles found by blennywatcher

Three ages of Benedictine?

Bottle muck Anna DeLoach BlennyWatcher.com

This is what one area looked like underwater – mostly new beer bottles

BlennyWatcher curio shelf Anna DeLoach Blennywatcher.com

The cleaned bottles find a home on my curio shelf