Monday, October 26, 2009

The Goby


The end of the Bull Shark season is clearly approaching.

To witness, the animals are skittish and infuriatingly picky.
One day, they are ravenous and turn up in impressive numbers; the other, they stick to the sidelines and will only deign to approach if enticed with juicy pieces of Oilfish, a revolting deep-water species (probably this one) that is increasingly being viewed as unfit for human consumption. Much to the contrary of Mahi Mahi which the Bull Sharks however refuse to eat!

What better time for concentrating on our other crown jewels, the surprising and ever increasing abundance of Fishes inhabiting the Reserve!
Being an underwater photographer and now, a videographer, I've always been somewhat of a Fish Taxonomist, but ever since diving with Jack, this has evolved into more of a "serious" interest. In fact, it appears that something may have rubbed off, as I regularly manage to run across some unusual ichthyological trouvaille.

Case in point: this tiny Shrimpgoby, very likely belonging to the Genus Stonogobiops.
It popped up in some footage of one of our skittish Splendid Garden Eels, Gorgasia preclara and I've never been able to find it again. My gut tells me that it may just be a juvenile Yellownose Shrimpgoby, Stonogobiops xanthorhinica, pictured above. But having said this, I've once seen (and equally failed to collect) a very similar, although bigger Fish on Dinah's Reef in PNG and this may well turn out to be a new, hitherto undescribed species.
If
we ever see it again! And manage to catch a specimen!

Well, judge for yourself.
Keep in mind that I was filming the Eel and never saw the Goby - so it is what it is. I've added some slow motion at the end where you can clearly see the unusual white filamentous dorsal spine.



The footage was captured with a Sony PDX10 in a Gates housing equipped with the fabulous super-wide port by Fathom Imaging. Yes, this is the very same lens I use when filming our big Sharks! Talk about unparalleled quality!

These are some of the last such images by yours truly, after which I'll be upgrading to a Sony EX1 - equally in a Gates housing and equally with a super-wide port!
Lemme tell you: I'm stoked!

1 comment:

Dive Vava'u said...

Very cool, have a great DEMA.