Saturday Sep 22, 2007
Had a nice dive today on the West side, as conditions are worsening on the North and east shores. Small surf at the entry/exit point, tossing a few inexperienced divers around. Art, Jojo, John Earle and I headed off to the sand, initially searching for Sand Lances (Ammodytoides), no luck, but we did find some nice sand dwellers.
I found two snake eels (Callechelys lutea) relatively close together, breathing very rapidly as they do. I was pleased with the close up shots with the camera's tele-macro and a tripod. I read later in Jack Randall's Hawaii book that Ed Robinson often finds these eels in close proximity to each other. Could be they like the same habitat, or they like each other. Also got some nice shots of a long tailed dragonet which I had only seen as juveniles in HDV before. Had some nice Standard Definition footage, but I do need to upgrade all those clips.
I filmed a pair of lizzardfish courting each other around. Surprisingly, when they paired up on the sand next to Art, they actually spawned on the sand. Each released a cloud of milky white discharge which converged over them, and then they both shot off to land again in the sand 15 feet away. John mentioned that this is unusual, as he had seen them rise toward the surface as many other fishes do to spawn.
Small flounder were abundant, and apparenlty they could be juvenile regular flounders, or mature dwarf flounders, or both. Needs some more research to find out the visible differences, and then some more disciplined filming to try to display those differences. Talking to John afterwards, he thinks we need to collect a few specimens to figure out what they really are.
John found a Kona crab and a couple lumpy box crabs, which became unwilling video subjects. It took awile to figure out how to uncover a box crab just enough so he'd run a few feet then dig himself in, rather than just immediately digging in.
I took some shots of razorfish, and then on the way in had a nice quick shot of a Orange Spine unicornfish getting cleaned. Nice color contrast.
Power plant outflow pipes and John Earle
Callechelys lutea (Snake Eel)
Naso lituratus cleaned by Labroides phthirophagus
Synodus dermatogenys (Sand Lizardfish)