Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Raies Léopard!

Vol de raies léopard deep down in Tiputa Pass - source.


The ORP keeps cranking out the goodies!
Case in point, this article about the research by Cécile Berthe who confirms that the Eagle Ray of French Polynesia is not the Spotted Eagle Ray Aetobatus narinari but the Whitespotted Eagle Ray Aetobatus ocellatus. And with the Marquesas being so far east and featuring a scenery and fauna that are reminiscent of the Western coast of the Americas, it is quite possible that they may be also harboring one more cryptic species, i.e. the Pacific Whitespotted Eagle Ray Aetobatus laticeps that is found in Baja

Those Eagle Rays can be reliably seen in Rangiroa in Dec/Jan.
That's when they form large mating aggregations, see at top, that are in turn stalked by ginormous but very shy Great Hammers. And, it's bloody deep, at least (!) 40m but in crystal clear viz on the incoming currents - and then you'll have to negotiate the ripping current in the pass, quite possibly whilst managing multiple decompression stops! 
Challenging but fun fun fun!

H/T: merci Johann!

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