Thursday, December 31, 2009

Striped Eel Catfish

Plotosus lineatus

Dendrodoris carbunculosa at Dili Rock

Dili Rock was a bit cloudy today...perfect condition for some of the more reclusive creatures to come out and enjoy the day. This Dendrodoris carbunculosa was foraging on the coral rubble at 9 meters. By the way, I just had to touch this guy. He was not slimy and actually harder than I expected.

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Today at Tasi Tolu

The first photo is of a Bent Stick Pipefish, the king of all pipefishes. I'd say this guy was around 30cm, or 12 inches.

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Back in the Saddle

Thanks to Jonathan, Sven, and Paulo for a fantastic dawn dive at Tasi Tolu this morning. Here are a few of the highlights.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Sunday Night Dive

Here are a few shots from the night dive on Sunday at, of course, Tasi Tolu. Flathead, Frogfish, and Demon Stinger

Friday, September 18, 2009

Still Catching Up

Here are a few more photos from recent dives at Dili Rock and Tasi Tolu.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Catching Up

The only excuse I have for not posting these earlier is that we've been too busy diving. We've found so many amazing creatures lately, including a pregnant seahorse. All of these are from Tasi Tolu on Saturday and Sunday night.

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Graceful Partner Goby

This is the shy Graceful Partner Goby Lotilla graciliosa with its commensal Red Spot Snapping Shrimp Alpheus rubromaculatus. Unlike most gobies that lie on the sandy bottom, the Graceful Partner Goby seems to hover just above it, constantly flapping it's spotted fins. This is the first pair I've noticed in Timor and had to wait 20 minutes for them to come out for a photo shoot.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Pertamina Pier

Dan and I got up at the crack of dawn on Saturday to dive the pier. This little blenny has made quite a home for himself in the center a soft orange cup coral, Tubastraea faulkneri.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Jaco Island

Thanks to Dan, Alex, Juvi, Merek, Martin, Annabella, my dive buddy and star videographer Kym, and our tireless and intrepid leader Mark from Dive Timor Lorosae for a fantastic weekend of diving at Jaco Island. For those of you who have not yet had the pleasure of visiting Timor, Jaco Island is part of the Nino Konis Santana National Park on the far eastern tip of Timor. The island is considered a sacred place by the Timorese; overnight stays and inland exploration of the island are prohibited. But the white sand beaches and tranquil coast line are reason enough for a visit. It's about a six-hour drive from Dili, but it's a stunning journey, and the serenity and beauty of Jaco makes the trip well worth the effort.

Of course we all went to Jaco to dive the unexplored reefs and troughs that attract large schools of fish, sharks, turtles, and rays. And we were not disappointed. So where are the photos? Well, anyone who has gotten past the title of UWET.NET knows that I rarely take a picture of anything larger than my hand. And most of the dives on or around Jaco are drift dives, perfect for running into big stuff, but not for tracking down sea spiders.

Having said that, here are a few shots I snapped along the way.

Palette Surgeonfish, Paracanthurus hepatus

Forster's Hawkfish, Paracirrhites forsteri

Reticulated Damsel, Dascyllus reticulatus

Please note: Never, ever say Dascyllus reticulatus three times while shaking your dive pointer at your dive buddy!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

More Masters of Camouflage

Here are two masters of camouflage. The first is Prosimnia semperi, an allied cowry that's virtually identical to the branching coral on which it lives. The second animal might be more difficult to see. It's Periclimenes amboinensis, a commensal shrimp that adapts its color to that of its host crinoid.

Ribbon Eel

This is a juvenile ribbon eel Rhinomuraena quaesita investigating my pointer (5mm) with its snout and lower jaw tentacles. As the juvenile matures, it will change color from black to blue to yellow at the same time it changes from male to female.

Monday, June 15, 2009

New Post

I know I've been delinquent in my duties to post something new. I'll try to catch up in the next day or so.

Sunday, May 24, 2009


Diane spotted this Melibe sp., possibly viridis or mirifica, (10cm) at Tasi Tolu. It's an unusually clear photo of a Melibe...they usually look like blobs of algae and are difficult to wrap your head around.

Unlike any other genus of sea slug, Melibe have a unique "oral hood" A used to catch small crustaceans. The hood, which is cast out like a fishing net, has rows of 'hairs' along the rim that filter the sand and detritus from the catch. The oral hood, as well as the rest of the Melibe, is quite transparent and it's possible to actually watch small crabs struggle as they are pushed back to the Melibe's mouth. B are, of course the rhinophones and C are cerata. These cerata can be 'sacrificed' and break off, giving the Melibe opportunity to escape when threatened. And finally, D is the fin-shaped posterior. Only a few sea slugs, including Melibe, have the ability to "swim". Swim might be an overstatement, but they do have the ability to jerk their bodies side-to-side and, with the help of this fin-shaped 'tail', move from place to place.

Laying Around

This is a sea snail (1cm), perhaps Cancilla interlirata (or some other Mitridae), laying eggs on the underside of a Udotea sp. algae. These algae are prolific at Tasi Tolu and play host to a variety of organisms. It might help to enlarge this photo to see the processes of the snail involved in laying.

Sunday, May 10, 2009


Three Mimic Octopuses

There is absolutely no doubt: Tasi Tolu is the world's greatest dive site. Today we saw three mimic octopuses at about 20 meters.