Well I was planning to relaunch the blog with some fancy new styling, a fully comprehensive links page (because there are sooo many great wildlife blogs online right now) and some other stuff.....but blogger beta is confusing me and a Panesar-inspired England are finally fighting back in the Ashes so its a simple return to regular posting post relocation for now.
Anyway the return comes with one of my favourite subjects, reef-based ambush predators. This is another frogfish. We've looked at the giant frogfish in the past and this is a smaller species. Smaller froggies are generally a pain to id specifically and can need things like fin ray counts just because each species (and for that matter the same individual on different days) can look very varied. I think we'll probably go with clown frogfish (Antennarius maculatus) on this one though
She's doing her best impression of a rock covered with an encrusting sponge and coralline algae and is basically just chilling at 20-something metres in the South China Sea. She's not luring at the time of picture and I'm fairly confident in calling her she because males are tiny in this genus. As you can imagine finding such well camouflaged species on a dive is pretty tricky. The local dive guides in the Philippines will generally have a pretty good handle on the location of froggies in their patch but its a real achievement to find one of your own. On my last trip I found one by myself in 48 dives, compared to 5 in 42 the time before. Either I'm getting out of practice or the guides are getting better. Probably both.
Turtle feeding frenzy pics coming soon. I promise.