Questions and Answers 2007
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Added 16 December
Question by Luke Harris.: I saw this fish at Long Beach, is it a scorpionfish?
No, it is a pleated toadfish, although in an unusual colour. For more details click here.
Added 22 November
Question by Phil Parr: what klipfish is this?
It is a young Cape klipfish. For more details click here.
Added 22 November
Question by Phil Parr: whose nudibranchs do these eggs belong to?
Phil managed to answer his question a week later: the eggs of the shaggy sea hare. For more details click here.
Added 21 October
Questions by Phil Parr: I saw these two fish at Long Beach, what are they?
The one peering out of a hole is the snaky klipfish, a rare and shy species, while the other fish is the juvenile of the fransmadam. For more details click here.
Added 2 July
Question by Dieter Stegemann: There's a funny little "bug" in the picture. What is it?
This is an amphipod, one of many small and easily overlooked species found all over our reefs. While hard to see they are worth looking at, especially magnified, as their colouration is often amazing! For more details click here.
Added 2 July
Question by Phil Parr: What species fish is this? Photographed at Long Beach.
This is the baardman, Umbrina canariensis, which is rarely seen by divers in Cape Town at that size. Small juveniles are more common. For more details click here.
Added 2 July
Question by Stephanie Perillard: These photos were taken at Birthday Reef Maze. Are these eggs of nudibranches?
Yes and no. The one photo shows a colony of ascidians, specifically blue choirboys, but the other photo indeed is the egg case of a nudibranch, namely that of the gas flame. For more details click here.
Added 2 July
Question by Adriaan Johnson: what crab it this?
This is a button crab Philyra punctata which is often found on sand during night dives, as the these two were. For more details click here.
Added 2 July
Question by Mark Walters: This photo was taken at Whittle Rock, and it looked like some type of tubular worm, probably about 10cm long?
This is an anemone, most likely the violet-spotted anemone Anthopleura stephensoni, which has extended itself to reach the purple soft coral on which it is busy feeded. For more details click here.
Added 9 June
Question by Dave Couperthwaite: This pic was taken by Glenn Rabie while diving off Ark Rock some time ago. Please could you identify it.
It is a sea pen, and it is common on sandy areas in some places. For more details click here.
Added 9 June
Question by Monty Guest: I saw these in Mozambique, what species are they?
The black-and-white fish is a juvenile black and white snapper, Macolor niger; it becomes dull grey as an adult. The one with yellow is an oriental sweetlips, Plectorhinchus vittatus. For more details click here.
Added 9 June
Question by Dieter Stegemann: found this at Justin's yesterday. Could you shed some light on it by any chance as I could not ID it at all. What is it and what is it doing?
It's a cowrie, and it is probably feeding. For more details click here.
Added 9 June
Questions by Dieter Stegemann and Phil Parr: could you help us identify these nudibranchs?
This collection includes a wide variety: from the tiny candy nudibranch to a much larger blue-speckled nudibranch, and includes two rare ones. For more details click here.
Added 9 June
Questions by Dieter Stegemann and Phil Parr: could you help us identify these fish?
This collection includes a number of klipfish, a triplefin, and a white stumpnose. For more details click here.
Added 16 April
Question by Dieter Stegemann: Could you help me identify a few nudibranchs, especially the small one next to the gasflame?
The latter one is the candy nudibranch, a fairly uncommon species, often overlooked, while the other one is the orange-eyed nudibranch. For more details click here.
Added 15 April
Question by Victor Barnard: I saw a few nudibranchs at Oudekraal recently, could you help me identify them?
The nudibranchs are fairly common species: red-spotted dorid and white-lined nudibranch, but the egg case on the one photo is interesting. For more details click here.
Added 18 February
Question by Dieter Stegemann: We saw this at Long Beach. Is it a lemon sole?
Yes, it is. While paler than others we have seen, the yellow margin is characteristic.
For more details click here.
Added 23 January
Question by Dieter Stegemann: This fish was seen at Long Beach yesterday at a depth of 6 meters. Although I at first thought it was a pipefish closer inspection showed it had a longer snout/nose and fins were also quite different. It was very skittish and I struggled to get a good photo. Could this be a Trumpet Fish? It's not supposed to be down here but maybe the weather conditions washed it off course... or something like that.
It is indeed not a pipefish, nor a trumpet fish - it is a flutemouth, an infrequent, but not unknown, visitor. For more details click here.
Added 23 January
Question by Keith Scott: Can you help me identify this nudibranch? I am leaning in the direction of a species of "Sea Hare" but have not been able to find a definitive picture / description anywhere on the web? Please let me know what you think...
It is a dwarf seahare, the smallest of the local sea hares, although compared to other nudibranchs it is comparatively large. For more details click here.
Added 23 January
Question by Dieter Stegemann, overheard at Long Beach "What is this?"
It is a young red stumpnose. It is interesting to see it at Long Beach, as generally it prefers reefs further offshore. For more details click here.
Added 23 January
Question by Dieter Stegemann: are these nudibranchs laying eggs?
Yes, they are. These are orange-clubbed nudibranchs, laying their eggs close to their food source, bryozoa. For more details click here.
Added 23 January
Question by Dieter Stegemann: I photographed these two klipfish at Long Beach and it seemed as if they were "sizing each other up" for a fight.The second photo shows the wound more clearly. What could have caused this? Could this have been due to a fight and are they territorial?
These are male super klipfish, and it seems they are indeed fighting, although the wound is rather large, and it is not likely that it was inflicted by its rival. For more details click here.