News 2006
Send your submissions to

Include pictures if you have any, but please not larger than 640x480. See Submissions under Home for further submission details.
Added 31 December
Piano blenny: this little fish was seen at A-Frame. While known to occur down south to False Bay, it is a very rare species locally.
For more details click here.
Added 16 October
Unusual nudibranchs from Oudekraal: Two rare species of nudibranch, both of the Goniodorididae family, were seen on the same red sponge recently at Oudekraal.
For more details click here.
Added 25 September
More unusual dorid nudibranchs at Long Beach: At a dive at the same location as we found the other two interesting dorids we find two more unusual ones: the variable dorid and the blotchy dorid.
For more details click here.
Added 3 September
Unusual dorid nudibranchs at Long Beach: During a dive at Long Beach we saw two related dorid nudibranchs: Jorunna tomentosa, a species we have not seen before, and Gargamella sp.1, a rare species we have only seen twice before. For more details click here.
Added 3 September
Rippled Blaasop Pelagocephalus marki. In February we saw an individual of this species at Castle Rocks (see Q and A, 17 February), but we could not identify it. Then we saw one two weekends in a row at the slipway at Millers Point, and we caught it, allowing for certain identification. It is known from Knysna to Port Alfred, but also from New Zealand, and is probably a pelagic species. For more details click here.
Added 1 August
Agulhas Spidercrab. Two individuals of this rare large crab (the carapace is about hand-sized) were recently sighted - one at Castle Rocks, the other one at Long Beach, with the only other known sighting in July 1997! For more details click here.
Added 19 June
Rocksucker offspring. Eggs of the small chubby clingfish Apletodon pellegrini can be found with moderate ease, under shells on sandy areas. Eggs of the much larger rocksucker Chorisochismus dentex are seen much less often. The eggs of the two species are very similar, not only in being transparent, showing the young, but they are also the same size! For more details click here.
Added 19 June
String Jellies. Sometimes exceeding 30 meters in length, these delicate animals are the drift-nets of the ocean. Usually found in deeper waters offshore, occasionally they are brought inshore. For more details click here.
Added 12 June
Green cowrie Cypraea coronata. Hans Krop was very excited when he found a green version of this cowrie, thinking it might be a new species. Further investigation however revealed the green colour comes from bacteria. For more details click here.
Added 12 June
Manta Ray Manta birostris. This young manta washed up on Kommetjie recently. While its range is listed as Cape Point to Natal and further north locally, and is known from tropical waters world wide, it is certainly not seen often at the Cape! For more details click here.
Added 16 May
Biscuit skate Raja straeleni.Two sightings of the biscuit skate were reported in the News section on 8 April. Peter commented on seeing the skate moving slowly, saying it "appeared to use these to push itself along at slow speed with almost a frog-kick motion." On a dive in the area he managed to video exactly that! For more details click here.
Added 16 May. Updated 25 June.
Backspine cowfish Lactoria fornasini at Long Beach again! An unusual visitor, seen a few times before, and reported in the News section on 30 April, this species normally does not range further south than Algoa Bay. For more details click here.
Added 30 April
Ghost pipefish Solenostomus cyanopterus. Juveniles of this fish have been seen before at Long Beach (see News 2005, 18 June), but it still remains a visitor, normally not ranging further south than the Eastern Cape. For more details click here.
Added 30 April
Backspine cowfish Lactoria fornasini at Long Beach. An unusual visitor, seen a few times before, this species normally does not range further south than Algoa Bay. For more details click here.
Added 30 April
Last act of defiance. This small crab was not hitching a ride on the pufferfish - it most likely tried to stay alive. It did not work, but at least it did not become a meal! For more details click here.
Added 30 April
Fiery nudibranchs (Okenia amoenula) eating eggs of Acanthodoris? Members of the okeniidae are known to feed mostly on bryozoans, yet two were seen what looked like feeding on eggs of another nudibranch species. For more details click here.
Added 20 April
Comber or African seabass Serranus knysnaensis. On 15 December 2005 in the news section we reported sighting the comber on a reef close to Rooi Els. Although the distribution in the literature is given as False Bay and further east, it was the first time that SURG heard of it being seen in Cape Town waters. Now it has been seen at Batsata, south of Smitswinkel bay. For more details click here.
Added 8 April
Echinus gilchristi. We are all used to seeing the common Cape urchin, which covers all our reefs - colouring them purple, green, red and orange with its shortish spines densely covering its shell. Peter found this one at 44 m, and it definitely looks different - where are all the spines? For more details click here.
Added 8 April
Thecacera pacifica. Adriaan Johnson went to Knysna recently and photographed this striking nudibranch. While common in Indo-Pacific tropical waters, it has only been recorded a few times as far south as Knysna. For more details click here.
Added 8 April
Biscuit skate Raja straeleni. This rarely seen species skate has been seen twice over the last week, in the Long Beach/Simon's Town harbour area. For more details click here.
Added 8 April
Elegant nudibranch Cratena sp.1. This undescribed species of nudibranch was first recorded in Knysna, where Guido has seen it as well. Recently he spotted some on two dives over the same weekend. Both in deeper waters, further offshore. It has also been found recently as far north as Durban - so from being known only from Knysna, it should now occur nearly along the whole southern South African coastline! For more details click here.
Added 19 March
Armina sp. and Armina gilchristi. SURG went to look for Pierre's armina (see Q and A 2 February 2006), and found not only it, but on the way back also Gilchrist's armina. So we returned with new tanks and searched for it, with success! For more details click here.
Added 12 March
Nudibranchs of the Two Oceans Aquarium: Indian nudibranch Aeolidiella indica. This little nudibranch is the latest exhibit in the Predator Tank - although you need to dive there in order to see it! This species was most likely introduced completely by accident, but is now thriving! For more details click here.
Added 12 March
Tasseled nudibranch Kaloplocamus ramosus. This nudibranch made the SURG news before, but now that divers are looking, is seen more and more often - not bad for a species reported to occur only at much greater depths! For more details click here.
Added 17 February
Nudibranchs of the genus Polycera. The crowned nudibranch is one of the more common species in the Cape, but not all are Polycera capensis. For more details click here.
Added 16 January
Robust klipfish. After many years of looking luck once again allowed Guido to find this klipfish: the largest, and probably rarest, of them all. It used to be common, now, only the second sighting of it in 16 years of diving! For more details click here.
Added 16 January
Nudibranchs at Castle Rock: Good, if not somewhat cold, conditions at Castle Rocks over the weekend allowed us to find many nudibranch species - all in all 16 species, including a few unusual ones. For more details click here.
Added 10 January
Cape gurnard: Seen now a few times by Peter Southwood at Percy's. It can be distinguished from the bluefin gurnard by having more blue on the pectoral fins. For more details click here.