Posts for Tag: sea life

Your cousin is calling

Clavelina picta is a tunicate in the subphylum Tunicata, a sister subphylum to the Vertebrata. Humans are members of the subphylum Vertebrata. These simple-looking organisms are marine filter-feeders with a sac-like body structure. These "higher animals" are the first we've seen in the numerous trips we've made to St. John.

Snorkeling The Indians

The bright fish is a blue chromis (Chromis cyaneus) foraging on a reef. Blue chromis are captured and sold for the aquarium trade.  The reef surrounds a group of 4 rock pinnacles that extend and descend the same 50 feet above and below sea level in the British Virgin Islands. The Indians are regarded as one of the best shallow dives in the BVIs. 

Lobster on the hoof

Here's a Caribbean spiny lobster (Panulirus argus) hiding in the protective recess while waiting for the sun to go down before venturing out to forage. These Caribbean lobsters are closely related to the California spiny lobster (Panulirus interruptus) common to the coastal waters off California and Baja California. They are highly prized by fishermen and divers so they rarely live more than 5 to 7 years. Lobsters are thought to live up to 50 years although there is no hard evidence that this is so.  

Caribbean spiny lobsters are also under fishing pressure and are scarce in some areas. This lobster was photographed along a shallow coral reef/rocky shore.  Mass migrations after winter storms have been observed where up to 50 individuals move single-file across open terrain. A common French grunt (Haemulon flavolineatum) swims by above the lobster.

Color, color color!

We saw this brightly colored fish, one that we hadn't seen before, while snorkeling in Little Lameshur Bay on the south coast of St. John. I followed this fish around trying to get a good profile shot of the fish. This was one of about 10 shots I took that shows the bight colors. The predominantly blue with yellow tail and blue stripes is a juvenile of the Queen angelfish; filmed June 17, 2013. 

The larger, predominantly green angelfish above is the adult Queen angelfish (Holacanthus ciliaris); filmed May 29, 2012. There are a number of different adult forms ranging from mostly yellow to blue to the green forms.