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4CornersPuddle, anthropic, Augie, azteca, FishinRod, jpsdad, RStringer
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Original Post (Thread Starter)
#546860 04/23/2022 1:03 AM
by snrub
This has no relavance to pond life, unless you consider the Caribbean a big pond. But I'm pretty sure we saw this big yellow female frogfish a few days ago. The reason I say so is the video I will link is to a lady that lives here in front of a scuba dive site that we go to called Something Special. She dives almost exclusively at that site because of her husbands ill health and taking care of him (she goes in the evening after putting him to bed). My wife enjoys under water macro photography and met up with Ellen one time for coffee. She does some amazing under water photography and she has thousands of pictures listed on the web under her name, Ellen Muller.

We saw this female frog fish I am sure as she looked about ready to pop with eggs at the time, at the dive site I mentioned above. Frogfish spawn at night to give the eggs a better chance of escaping predators eating them. Ellen captured the two males fertilizing the eggs in a video at night. Phenominal.

My wife and I's "Holy Grail" of undersea creatures are Sea Hoses and Frogfish. We search for them constantly while diving here, about 3-4 months out of the year. Been kind of slim pickins this year as we have only found the one yellow female frogfish and two pairs of sea horses (my diving has mostly been limited to one reef because of my motorcycle accident and difficulty of entering the water at the more remote and difficult dive sites - we have a dock here where we stay so I have easy entry and exit). Most divers swim right by both unless guided by an experienced guide that knows where to look. They are both extremely camoflaged and hard to spot by unexperienced eyes. But I digress. The video is of one large female frog fish (with a face only a mother could love) and two males fertilizing the eggs.

What made me think to post this is the talk about yellow perch eggs and how the perch egg ribbons kind of look like the frogfish ribbins. Man it would be fun to have some video of yellow perch spawns, but pond water is not quite as clear or inviting as warm Caribbean waters for underwater photographers, LOL. Can't convince my wife to go take pictures of BG on beds in the ponds..............

Enjoy the video and feel free to view any of Ellen's other pictures. She is a local that lives down here in Bonaire, N.A,

Liked Replies
by snrub
Originally Posted by FishinRod
The facial expression in your frogfish picture looks like, "I can't believe you had the audacity to take a picture of me before I put my makeup on!"

After I heard you had survived the Snrub version of Extreme deer hunting, my second thought was that I hoped you didn't lose your ability to dive. Glad to see you can still partake in one of your special pastimes!

Longlure Frogfish have been described as "a stomach with a mouth" because they can swallow another fish 2/3 their own size (sometimes with the tail still hanging out the mouth). They are voratious predators that sit motionless. They basically look like a sponge and blend in perfetly when sitting on one. They have a "lure" attached above their mouth that they "fish" with to attract fish within striking distance. Wife has pictures of them with their lure out "fishing".

While I'm under water I feel 95%. I think if I got in an emergency situation with hard swimming still not quite 100%. In the water I feel great. Out of the water............... well maybe 70%. Still have some coordination problems. Walking a straight line is tough and balance is still not completely there. Still have left arm and both legs but mostly right leg that gets pretty sore after each dive. Get tired way to easily. Two dives a day and I am worn out.

But I am very thankful to be alive and able to do what I am doing. That accident could have easily turned out so much worse. Lucky a guy witnessed the accident and got me emergency care so soon. I might not have made it had I laid in that ditch an hour or two before someone came along and discovered me.

I was an extremely lucky guy in an unlucky accident.
3 members like this
by snrub
The chain eel's only get aboout 3 feet or so. Golden tail are common and they only get about a foot or two. Sharp tail eel about 2-3 feet but very skinny and easily mistaken for a snake buy swimmers. Viper eels have wicked looking teeth and mouth and get to maybe 3 feet, very reclusive and hard to spot in the coral head. Spotted eels are pretty common and get about 3-4 feet or a little longer. Purple mouth eels are rare and get to maybe 4 or 5 feet. But the big green eels are the daddy of them all. We have a couple out on the house reef that are easily 8 feet long and 7 or 8" thick at the throat. They are all pretty harmless if you don't harass them. Had a buddy that witnessed one of the big green morray's race in his direction, stop abruptly and grabbed a 2 or 3 foot spotted eel, fliped it up and ate it swallowed head first. Wouldn't want one of them mad at me.

There are a number of different kind of mantis shrimp. The one in the picture stays in coral heads and is very reclusive, only gets to maybe 3 inches. But there are large varieties that get a foot in length and bore holes into the sand/rubble bottom. I watched a divemaster (in Roatan, Honduras) feed a 6" long lionfish he had speared (after clipping off the poision spines) to a big foot long mantis in a hole (think it was a scaly tail mantis). That thing was wicked when it came out and latched onto that fish. Pulled the whole fish down its hole. Could rip a guys arm open if unsuspectingly irritated it.

Most of the stuff that can hurt a guy in the ocean is likely to do it by accident rather than purposeful intent. Most of the ocean critters main concern is for the next meal and they all have their normal menu and preferences.

Thanks everybody for well wishes on my recovery. If I get to feeling sad and tempted to have a little pity party I just tell myself, slow recovery is better than no recovery. I was a very lucky guy to recover at all. Very fortunate to get to do the things I do. I have been blessed.
2 members like this
#547047 Apr 26th a 01:36 AM
by snrub
We witnessed this today and it is just too good not to share. A pair of seahorses we have been watching for several weeks spawned this morning and we happened to be there to witness it. Very rare for divers to witness.

When we went to find them they were side by side nearly touching. I knew then that they were about to mate. They will check on each other periodically, but when they are that close something is about to happen. This makes the 4th seahorse mating I have witnessed in the last several years.

We just stayed back and observed. We are thinking this is a young pair as they were kind of clumsy. We watched them about 35 minutes total. They had to make about 3 attempts to "swim up" together and mate. The female finally got in position to deposit her eggs in the males pouch and we think she was at least partially successful. We say partially because some eggs were squirted out in the water and three bicolor damselfish immediately saw the opportunity for a meal and began eating them. I have not witnessed that before. I've seen unsuccessful attempts to deposit the eggs and second or third tries but it was because of heavy current knocking the seahorses out of their ascent and having to drop down and try again. These just acted a little like they were inexperienced. They didn't form the perfect heart shape head to head like we have seen with other pairs when they swam up mating. They do an interesting mating "dance" before the swim up and actual mating happens. The last picture is part of the dance where they rear their heads back together.

But at any rate, once the eggs were deposited in (and around in this case) the male they broke away and went their separate ways. The female will remain in the area and check on the male periodically while she develops the next set of eggs that will be ready in about a month to do it all over again. The female is the one with the more pronounced white and the more vibrant red color. At a depth of 38 feet they both look mostly black with white stripes or a redish redish black. The strobe light of the camera brings out their true colors.

The male will gestate the eggs in his pouch (a very sophisticated live pouch much like a placenta) till the eggs develop into baby seahorses. The male will give birth, likely at night or at least dusk, the babies will "swim up" to the surface for a gulp of air, then float in the open ocean till they find a mat of sargassum grass to attach and float with. Then when they reach an appropriate size will drop onto a reef somewhere to start their adult life.

We were really fortunate to be able to witness something that very few people get to see in the wild. These are some of the pictures Carolynn took of the event.
Attached Images
2 members like this
by snrub
Here is a picture of what I think was a good possibility of being the same frogfish as the one in the video. Wife took this picture. The reason it is likely the same fish is that frogfish are not all that common and I know it was a big female and on the same reef. So a good chance.

I'll also put some pictures of the resident seahorses that are on the home reef where we stay. We see these same seahorses several times a week as they pretty much stay in the same area and the males when they are gestating eggs stay in a very tight proximity. The females range wider. We can watch the males pouch get larger as the eggs develop. Older males will actually have stretch marks that is one hint of them being male.

I have had the privilge of seeing several pairs actually mate. They get amorus then will swim up about 3' vertical, intertwine, the female deposits her eggs in the males pouch, then they go their seperate ways. They do stay in the same area and the female checks on him periodically. Quite a intricate courting and mating ritual for a fish. Gestation takes around a month or a little longer depending on water temperature.

I will not junk up Pond Boss with a bunch of diving pictures, but for my wife and I this would be comparable to what some enjoy in deer hunting or other outdoor sports. I learned to scuba dive when I was 14 in 1967-68 and have been really active at it since 1982 when I remarried and Carolynn joined me in the sport. Normally I do 150-200 dives a year (ever since semi-retiring a dozen years ago, fewer when we were young and poor) or just over than many hours under water. Covid year I only did about a third that because our travel was mostly limited to the US.
Attached Images
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