Thursday, March 12, 2009

South Cottesloe Beach - White-barred boxfish, colonial ascidians and sea sponges

Last Sunday was a wonderful day to explore the South Cottesloe Reef. Wind speeds were below 15 knots most of the morning and the sea was quite calm. And the skies were mostly cloudless too.

When I ventured out to about 100 m from shore with my snorkeling buddies Truc and Jude, we found calm waters and excellent visibility. I thought of showing them where the fan corals are but in the end, I just couldn't find the spots where many colonies are growing.

Anyway, last Sunday was definitely Truc's lucky day as he saw a leafy sea dragon! Unfortunately it had already disappeared into the seagrass when I got there and I missed the opportunity to take some fantastic photos : (

Anyway, I did see something new last Sunday.

A male white-barred boxfish (Anoplocapros lenticularis) at a depth of about 3 m.

Colonial ascidians (related to blue-throated ascidians)(?)

Seas sponges with creatures that look like marine worms on them

Possibly some zoanthids (colonial anemones)

The sides of many submerged rocks were covered by sea anemones.

Truc and Jude spotted this large globe fish - the largest I have seen so far, almost 30 cm in length I think. The post about my first encounter with this fish is HERE. Anyway, when I got nearer to take a shot, I saw a nudie next to it, a Chromodoris westraliensis.

And we noticed that its right eye looks funny, probably blind I suspect.


Wois said...

can we touch those ascidians and sponges by our hands?

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Better not. Although they are probably harmless to us, touching them may cause them some damage.


Steve Reynolds said...

Hi Chai
Those Globefish seem prone to eye problems (infections or blindness).

Tsun-Thai Chai said...

Hi Steve,

You have seen globe fish with eye problems too?