Questions and Answers 2005
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Added 27 December
Question by Pierre Niehaus: We saw this fish while diving in the Gans Bay area. What is it?
It is an adult koester. A juvenile was seen recently at Rooi Els - see the News section. For more details click here.
Added 27 December
Question by Pierre Niehaus: I photographed a number of interesting-looking "things" like the one shown - what are they?
They are all colonial ascidians! For more details click here.
Added 15 December
Question by Hanief Ally: I saw numerous of these small fish at Long Beach, what species is it?
It is the juvenile of our common Hottentot - although given the brown colour you might not recognize it at first! For more details click here.
Added 4 December
Question by Monty Guest and Grant Whitford: We saw this whale during a dive in False Bay, what species is it? Our guess is that it was about 8m long.
There are a number of whales with similar dorsal fins, including the sei, minke and Bryde's whale. Without further images our best guess is that it is a smaller Bryde's whale. For more details click here.
Added 4 December
Question by Andrew Taylor: I saw this anemone at the southern end of Outer Castle (Pie Rock) in about 17 m of water. It was about 2.5cm in diameter. What species is it?
Andrew asked this question early in November, and it has taken us some time to identify it. The conclusion is that it is a juvenile long-tentacled anemone. For more details click here.
Added 19 November
Question by Peter Southwood: Is this Cancelloxus longior (the elongated sand klipfish)?
No, it is not. It is the platanna klipfish, Xenopoclinus kochi For more details click here.
Added 12 November
Question by Andrew Taylor: Is this Phyllodesmium serratum?
No, not quite. Gosliner does shows this nudibranch as P. serratum, but it was misidentified. For more details click here.
Added 12 November
Question by Pierre Niehaus: What nudibranch is this?
It is the four-colour nudibranch, Godiva quadricolor, a fairly uncommon species. For more details click here.
Added 12 November
Question by Pierre Niehaus: What nudibranch is this?
It is Leminda millecra, a species particularly common on the Smitswinkel bay wrecks. For more details click here.
Added 6 November
Question by Ros Morgenrood: Could you please let me know what this nudibranch is called, other than pretty?
It may look like a nudibranch, but it is not one - in fact, it is something not even closely related to a nudibranch! For more details click here.
Added 6 November
Question by Ros Morgenrood: What species of nudibranch is this?
It is the silver nudibranch, Janolus capensis For more details click here.
Added 6 November
Question by Andrew Taylor: What species of nudibranch is this?
It is a member of the genus Dermatobranchus, and is an undescribed species For more details click here.
Added 15 October
Question by Jeff Corbett, Pierre Niehaus. By pure chance Jeff and Pierre photographed a different individual of this little klipfish, the bluespotted klipfish, Pavoclinus caeruleopunctatus, on the same weekend. It is a less frequently seen klipfish, although not rare. I think it is the prettiest fish in Cape Town waters, but then I am extremely biased... For more details click here.
Added 15 October
Question by Jeff Corbett. What sort of sole is this?
It is actually not a sole, but a tonguefish, probably Cynoglossus zanzibarensis. Soles lie on their left side, while tonguefish lie on their right side. For more details click here.
Added 15 October
Question by Jeff Corbett. Is this a type of nudibranch?
Yes, it is a warty pleurobranch, Pleurobranchaea bubala . For more details click here.
Added 15 October
Question by Jeff Corbett. I regularly see this fish on sandy areas like Long Beach, what is it?
It is a barehead goby, Caffrogobius nudiceps, a common sand-dwelling fish. For more details click here.
Added 15 October
Question by Helene Clarke. I saw this fish at A-Frame, what species is it?
It is a juvenile kelp klipfish, Clinus rotundifrons, one of the rarer klipfishes. For more details click here.
Added 1 October
Question by Peter Southwood. When going through photos of last night's dive at Cement Barge I found a small fish which I cant identify. It is probably less than 50mm long and does not look much like anything I can find. Both attached photos of same fish.
It is a smoothskin scorpionfish, Coccotropsis gymnoderma, a small fish related to true scorpionfishes. For more details click here.
Added 1 October
Question by Jürgen Buchelt. I came across this guy last Saturday (September 24th 2005) on the PMB. Looks very much like a crown squirrelfish but according to Two Oceans they live far up the east coast?
It is a panga, Pterogymnus laniarius a seabream common in deeper waters. For more details click here.
Added 1 October
Question by Jürgen Buchelt. Unfortunately my picture is very bad as the fish decided to get away before I could get a clear shot. We spotted the fish at Roman Rock at about 18 m during last years Scubapro dive fest. The fish was fairly big (40 - 50 cm) and the unusual shape pointed towards the guy being a horsefish (my oppinion, to be corrected?). I tried to identify the fish without real success as most books and the www don't offer a lot of information about horsefish at all. I almost forgot about the unusual fish until I recently received a picture of a horsefish in Dive Action's newsletter taken in False Bay. The fish we saw last October looked a lot like the horsefish with one difference: Our guy had a really striking colour scheme of longitudinal stripes in black / dark brown and bright yellow. Another feature I can clearly remember was the fish folding its dorsal fin up and down when we approached it. Any ideas?
You are quite correct; it is a horsefish, namely the smooth horsefish, Congiopodus torvus. For more details click here.
Added 25 September
Question by Peter Southwood. I saw this small fish during a night dive at Pinnacle, near Gordon's Bay. What is it? It looks somewhat like a mullet of some kind, but the eye looks too big and the mouth looks wrong, but then again it was a small specimen (about 100mm). Seen at a depth of about 4m.
It is a gnomefish, Scombrops boops For more details click here.
Added 25 September
Question by Peter Southwood. I saw this small fish during a night dive at Pinnacle, near Gordon's Bay. What is it? I think it may be a Carpenter?
It is a juvenile steentjie, Spondyliosoma emarginatum For more details click here.
Added 20 August
Question by Geo Cloete. I saw this jelly type creature on a dive last year at A-frame and would appreciate more info on what it is.
Although similar to a salp, which also often forms string-like colonies, it is not in fact a salp but is a sort of Hydrozoan called a siphonophore. For more details click here.
Added 20 August. Updated 27 August.
Question by Andrew Taylor. This toadfish - which one is it?
This is the pleated toadfish, Batrichthys felinus. For more details click here.
Added 6 August
Question by Ettienne Kotze. What is going on with these schooling pipefish?
There has recently been an increase in pipefish numbers, and these young ones are probably congregating for protection. For more details click here.
Added 6 August
Question by Richard Steventon. What anemone species is this?
This is a violet-spotted anemone, a relatively rare species. For more details click here.
Added 31 July
Question by SURG. Have you see this?
The dwarf spotted anemone is probably an undescribed species, and SURG would like to know if you have seen it. For more details click here.
Added 26 June, updated 3 July, 10 July, 31 July
Question by SURG. What is this?
Answer:We wish we knew! Even the experts are puzzled by this one. Recognize it? Know it? Let us know! For more details click here.
Added 10 July, updated 17 July.
Question by Adriaan Johnson. I saw this fish at night at Long Beach, what is it?
Answer: It is a filefish, family Monacanthidae. It is a non-resident visitor. For more details click here.
Added 10 July.
Question by Adriaan Johnson. I saw this fish at night at Long Beach, what is it?
Answer: It is a serpent eel, Ophisurus serpens. For more details click here.
Added 3 July, updated 10 July, updated 24 October.
Question by Helene Clarke. What anemone is this?
Answer: We don't know yet! For more details click here.
Added 3 July, updated 10 July, updated 25 September.
Question by Guido Zsilavecz. What fish is this?
Answer: A blenny, for sure, but which species? Trying to find its identify has become an interesting search, without a definite answer yet! For more details click here.
Added 26 June.
Questions by Adriaan Johnson and Georgina Jones. What is this?
Answer: It is a pleated toadfish, Batrichthys felinus. These are rather shy fish, which remain in cracks and crevasses during the day. In the Cape Town area there are two different toad fish. For more details click here.
Added 18 June.
Question by Etienne Kotze. What is this? A type of flatworm? It was about 3cm long, and photographed at Windmill.
Answer: It is a nudibranch, Dendrodoris caesia. For more details click here.
Added 18 June.
Question by Peter Southwood. I am going crazy trying to identify klipfish again. The one in the photos looks to me like C. brevicristatus as best guess, as I have rejected lace klipfish and agile klipfish because of the eye pattern and it has tentacles, and C. venustris because of face pattern. Comment?
Answer: It is the super klipfish Clinus superciliosus, but it looks unusual due to a missing dorsal crest. For more details click here.