Questions and Answers 2009
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Added 16 December
Question by Geo Cloete: I photographed this klipfish with a shimp inside its mouth, which it did not seem to eat - what is going on here?
Very interesting, as these shrimp are definitely part of a klipfish' diet, so this is odd behaviour! For more details click here.
Added 16 December
Question by Mark Walters: Saw this little guy just outside Hout Bay harbour last month and am battling to get a definative ID. It looks like a pencil fish. It remained vertical in the water while I took pictures. The body was +/- 15cm long, about 5mm wide x 12mm high, a flattish body - flat like Fizzer sweet as opposed to round like a pencil. The fish kept itself very straight/erect (as opposed to floppy/bendy) and was a highly reflective silver colour like mercury. What is it?
We think this is the juvenile (or rather, a young one) of the cutlass fish. For more details click here.
Added 16 December
Question by Geo Cloete: Why I was not sure about this one:
a) gills are black and not completely white (which I thought it should be for the orange crown)
b) the yellow stripe on the back end
c) the two gills with yellow points
This is the orange-lined crowned nudibranch - the gills do not have to be completely white. While we think it may be a disctinct species, an interesting photo may say so otherwise! For more details click here.
Added 16 December
Question by Paul Papenfus: I saw this guy at Castle Rock last month. No-one has yet been able to tell me what it is and the colours are different from the klipvis types I know.Can you help?
This is what we now call the "mosaic" klipfish, a close relation to the super klipfish, and likely to be a distinct species. For more details click here.
Added 16 December
Question by Johan Swanepoel: Can you please help me identify these nudibranchs from PE?
There are a number of species here, one of which is interesting as it is probably still undescribed. For more details click here.
Added 16 December
Question by Rene Pretorius: I took this picture on Sunday on the PMB. It looks very odd as to what they are doing. Have you any idea what it might be fighting, feeding or courting?
It's hard to say exactly, as nudibranchs have complex behaviour... For more details click here.
Added 23 June
Question by Peter Gordon: What is the fish I have labeled Frog Fish? Is it a frog fish? It was about 200mm in length, alone and lying under some structure on the wreck of the "Transvaal".
This is a horned blenny. There are no frog fish in the Cape Town area. For more details click here.
Added 23 June
Question by Johan Swanepoel: Is this the Knysna sand goby?
No, it is not, it is the barehead goby. Both are very similar though. For more details click here.
Added 31 May
Question by Johan Swanepoel: What species klipfish are these? They were photographed on the Haerlem wreck (Port Elizabeth) at a depth of +/- 22m
These are fleet klipfish. For more details click here.
Added 31 May
Question by Nick Turner: I photographed this on Sunday at long Beach. I don't see it listed in your book or Terrence Cosliners book 'Nudibranchs of Southern Africa'.
The animal in question is not a nudibranch, but a flatworm. This is a common mis-identification, especially as superficially there is a resemblance to the gasflame nudibranchs. For more details click here.
Added 9 May
Question by Richard Sherley: Richard sent a few images taken in Hermanus, one for identification (a fish he though resembles a toadfish, but is actually a rock sucker - which does look very "toadish"), and one for interest (a photo of a reticulated kelp louse, which the literature states only ranges to the Cape Peninsula).
For more details click here.
Added 9 May
Question by Alistair Clacherty and Andrew Taylor: Both Alistair and Andrew, independently, and from different dives, submitted quite similar photos and asked for identification.
Both fish are the super klipfish, a member of a species complex which is becoming very interesting. For more details click here.
Added 9 May
Question by Erika Gouws: Can you perhaps help me to identify this fish? It was caught near Muizenberg in the Western Cape.
This is the white steenbras. For more details click here.
Added 14 April
Mark Walters spent a few days diving on the great barrier reef in Australia, and a few queries regarding some fish he saw.
For more details click here.
Added 31 March
Question by Johan Swanepoel: Went diving on Saturday at Cross Roads in the Wild Side here in Port Elizabeth and got photos of two nudibranchs. Can you help me to Id them? The first one, can this be the Bornella adamsi as you identified last for me (Just a color variation?) This photo was taken at a depth of +/- 19 meters.
The second one was taken at the same place by my buddy Glen Jacoby at about +/- 17 m. Can you help to identify it?
The first seems to be B. adamsi indeed. The second one is the candy nudibranch - common in Cape Town, but at the far reaches of its extension in Port Elizabeth. For more details click here.
Added 31 March
Question by Alistair Clacherty: Identity of Nudibranch? I took the attached photo at Seal Point. I was browsing through Guido's book and didn't see anything similar, so thought to send it to you. Any idea what it is?
This is not a nudibranch, although the way "it" is lying does make one think it could be one - instead, it is an anemone, stretching itself to get at its food source: the purple soft coral. For more details click here.
Added 9 March
Question by Juan Snyman: Can you help me identify this nudibranch?
We believe this is Bornella adamsi, although it was photographed further south than it is known from. For more details click here.
Added 1 March
Questions by Johan Swanepoel: Johan sent in two images, and asks to confirm whether the one is a scarlet sea spider; which it is, and whether the other one is not possibly the compact sea spider, which it isn't.
For more details click here.
Added 2 February
Question by Belinda Roux: I hope you will be able to help me identifying this fish. I saw it on a dive on at Clifton in Cape Town. I have gone through the books I have and cannot identify it!
This is a young smooth horsefish, a relatively rare encounter, especially in shallow water. For more details click here.
Added 18 January Updated 31 May
Question by Di Froude: Cannot find this nudi in your book or Terrence Gosliners book ..... the closest seems to be Gargamella sp2 ( No95 ) on page 71 of Gosliners book where the colours are reversed but this one I found has a very distinctive stripe along the top and the white spots were very raised. Any idea what it is or is it a new one. I found it at Pyramid quite close to the shore at low tide in a couple of metres of water. There were 2 on the rock and a little further on I found another 2 and then another 1 on its own.
This is Aphelodoris brunnea, the variable dorid - so named because it, like many other Aphelodoris species, can be highly variable in colour pattern.
Update: this species has now been sighted numerous times, by various divers, at Pyramid Rock. For more details click here.
Added 18 January
Question by Elizabeth Charlton: This was my first dive in South Africa and would like to know what I've spotted (the sluggy-looking animals)
The sluggly-looking things are sea-cucumbers. Compared to tropical species which most divers know, those in the colder Cape areas are much smaller, and much more prolific in numbers. For more details click here.
Added 10 January
Question by Howard Steele: I have spotted this little nudibranch a couple of times on dives. It is small, probably about 10mm long. This one is at A-frame above the first cave. It has similar form to the cowled nudibranch but different in colour. Any idea?
This is not a nudibranch, but the juvenile of a sock or walking anemone. It does look remarkably similar to a nudibranch at first glance, and it had SURG fooled as well the first time a member saw it! For more details click here.