Friday, 18 November 2011

The South West Wall - 18th November

The Gills of an Obscure Hypselodoris. Photo: Ryan Pearson
By Ryan Pearson
There were nudibranchs and octopi everywhere on todays dive. Here is a bunch of pics and a rundown of what I saw....

I had heard the visibility in the Gold Coast Seaway has been about 15m recently. This is pretty good for the Seaway, and considering I've now finished uni for the year, I decided to head on down there and try my luck with my macro lens. I made a half hearted attempt to round up a crew to come along, but everyone was busy so I decided to go solo (shhh... don't tell PADI). Anyway, given that I tend to move really slowly with my macro lens on, it was probably better that I didn't bore the hell out of anyone who came diving with me.

So, I entered the water, the vis looked nice, there was no current and it was a lovely 23 degrees (which felt a little cold because I took my 3mm wetsuit in for the first time this year and it has a broken zipper). 80 odd minutes later, I came out of the water quite happy with the dive. And here are the results...

I found at least 4 octopi. I think they must be breeding or protecting their eggs at the moment because there were also a lot of rock piles around that octopus love to build around the front of their 'holes'. This one was in a hole and kept changing it's eye colour - flashing it red to white repeatedly.
Common Sydney Octopus. Photo: Ryan Pearson
This was the second one I came across, and he was more than happy to just sit still and let me take as many shots as I wanted. Interestingly, the his eye slit appeared to be vertical compared to the horizontal eye slit on the previous one.

Common Sydney Octopus. Photo: Ryan Pearson
He let me get so close, I could focus entirely on his eye. This below image is not cropped at all.
Common Sydney Octopus. Photo: Ryan Pearson
Common Sydney Octopus. Photo: Ryan Pearson
There were also nudibranchs everywhere! I must have seen 30 of these Obscure Hypselodoris. 
Obscure Hypselodoris. Photo: Ryan Pearson
And I also saw many of these guys - who I don't think I've ever seen before and I have ID'd as Ceratosoma tenue. How weird is their shape? It's so odd how their mantle turns upwards behind the gills. I thought the first one I saw was just deformed but they were all shaped like this.

Ceratosoma tenue. Photo: Ryan Pearson

Ceratosoma tenue. Photo: Ryan Pearson

Ceratosoma tenue. Photo: Ryan Pearson

The only other nudi I saw (which is possibly a juvenile of the same species above) was this little guy. He was only about 7mm long. Very cute.
Juvenile Ceratosoma tenue. Photo: Ryan Pearson
Other things I saw were tube worms, egg sacks, feather stars, shrimp, crabs, eels, and lots and lots of different fish species. Below are some of the other pics. I'll be IDing them over the next couple of hours/days, so if you are interested in what they are please check back later. Or, if you can help me ID, feel free to leave a comment below.

Crested Morwong. Cheilodactylus vestitus. Photo: Ryan Pearson

Dusky Flathead. Platycephalus fuscus. Photo: Ryan Pearson

Unknown Eggs (Though I suspect they were from a nudibranch) Photo: Ryan Pearson

Unknown Polychaete (Tube Worm). Photo: Ryan Pearson

I think this is a tiny feather star. Photo: Ryan Pearson

Photo: Ryan Pearson

Probably a Variegated Lizardfish. Synodus variegatus. Anyone care to correct me? Photo: Ryan Pearson

Banded Cleaner Shrimp. Stenopus hispidus. Photo: Ryan Pearson

Saddled Puffer. Canthigaster valentini. Photo: Ryan Pearson

Threadfin Butterflyfish. Chaetodon auriga Photo: Ryan Pearson

Photo: Ryan Pearson

Photo: Ryan Pearson

Cardinalfish (TBD). Photo: Ryan Pearson
Pencilled Surgeonfish. Acanthurus dussumieri. Photo: Ryan Pearson

Clown Toby. Canthigaster callisterna. Photo: Ryan Pearson

Photo: Ryan Pearson

Photo: Ryan Pearson
This guy below was sketchy. He didn't want me anywhere near him. I tried to get a number of shots and unfortunately this was the best one I got of him.
Photo: Ryan Pearson

Photo: Ryan Pearson

1 comment:

k said...

Hey man. I just wanted to say that thanks for posting pics of your dive! :) They are fantastic! Were you able to get all of these from just snorkeling or did u scuba? Also what kind of camera did you use?? I would love to see more of your photos!!!

Thanks again! :)