A bunch of flowers under the sea

The visibility is not the same in even the same point, you know. We like clear water for diving. However, sometimes, murky water gives us a chance. When I took this photo, the visibility of the surface was awful. On that day, the sunlight didn’t reach the seabed where was ordinary days bright. I was Swimming in dim light with buddies. Suddenly this bunch of Orange cup coral was appearing in the spotlight of my flashlight. All tentacles were blooming. It looked like a bunch of orange color Daisy flowers.
The Orange cup coral might have been mistaken for the night due to the dark surroundings. Owase, Mie, Japan

whip coral garden

in the dim sea bed

Whip coral garden at Nagase point, Owase, Mie, Japan.
This is an inner bay point, but the tide is often fast. So, we can enjoy many kinds of soft coral. I like the whip coral garden. Whip coral is an invertebrate with long, whip-like branches covered in tiny polyps. are living on a big rock. The scenery a lot of the whip coral standing in the dim sea bed is very mysterious. Owase, Mie, Japan March 21 2020 -18m

Camouflage in Purple

Hamodactylus noumeae

“Isobana-Kakure-Ebi” in Japanese.

When a diver illuminates up a gorgonian which looks like a large fan by his underwater flashlight, often, he may find out something reflecting in the light. Looking closely, he will see a very small shrimp staying on the branch. This is Hamodactylus noumeae( Commensal Shrimp). “Isobana-Kakure-Ebi” in Japanese.
They are very tiny shrimps, around 0.5cm. The purple body seen through a transparent exoskeleton is beautiful.
Body-color is depending on a host gorgonian color.
Moreover, most of the body is transparent, so it is hard to find.
They are also masters of camouflage and Ninja under the sea.

Camouflage master under the sea

She is inside

Elegant squat lobster, Allogalathea elegans

The central orange color balls are egg mass.

Do you know Kunoichi? Kunoichi means the Female Ninja. They are hiding, sometimes as a waitress, sometimes a teacher, sometimes as a wife, and performing spy activities. Kunoichi is an expert in camouflage.
Kunoichi is there in the sea also.
Elegant Squat Lobster, Allogalathea elegans (Adams & White, 1848) is one of them.
This pic is not brand new. Several years ago, I took this. Today, I was checking my photos, and I find this. She was hiding in a feather star with her eggs a long time.
Owase, Mie, Japan

Hippocampus japapigu Short, Smith, Motomura, Harasti & Hamilton, 2018

Japapigu at Kushimto Wakayama Japan

This pic is not brand new. But my favorite.
This guy is very tiny. Under 5mm long. Always behind seaweed or rock for hiding. And moving quickly. So it is so hard finding it out.
Fortunately, the guide I was diving with was excellent. He has good eyes. And has the knowledge for this guy. Its favorite place or appearance time and so on.
This seahorse had not had the scientific name longtime from it was discovered. Japanese divers have been calling it Japapigu longtime. Japapigu is the shortens the name from Japanse pygmy seahorse. This name is spreading to the world through the internet, the scientific name is named after this colloquial Japanese name.

Macro : Chromodoris orientalis Rudman, 1983 シロウミウシ

Very simple but Beautiful

Chromodoris orientalis is feeding seaweed on a rock.
This nudibranch is commonly found at Owase. It is known as “Shiro-Umiushi=White sea slug” in Japanese common name.
Their fashion is very simple. So white body with black spots and orange-yellow fringe. That’s all.
Don’t you think it looks so stylish?

Oriental flying gurnard

Dactyloptena orientalis

Hi, this photo is not the same as I uploaded the previous time.
 The description of the photo is different.
 Thank you, Ron Silver.
 He taught me the correct name as below.
 “Based on geographic location, this is Dactyloptena orientalis (Dactylopterus volitans is an Atlantic/Caribbean species”
  This pic is taken at Owase, Mie, Japan.
 I re-upload the photo that corrects the name on the picture.
 Thank you.

Close-up : Longfin batfish ツバメウオ

Platax teira (Forsskål, 1775)

Shy and friendly

Tsubame-uo in Japanese

Longfin batfish are often seen from late summer to spring at the artificial reef point, called Gyosho point (The top is -18m. The bottom is -23m). They come from anywhere with a couple or three. And will go away to somewhere. At first, they are shy. When they look at divers, they hide behind the reef blocks. However, after a while, you will be able to shoot from nearby. It is a fun scene for them to swim behind divers looking for Longfin batfish. This picture was taken during a “safety stop”. If they feel like it, they will rise up with divers and see off. Owase, Mie, Japan. -5m

Close up : Flying gurnard セミホウボウ

Dactylopterus volitans (Linnaeus, 1758)

Flying gurnard doesn’t fly, yet cool

Semi-Houbou

Flying gurnard has beautiful bright spots on its back, so, there are many photos taken from the top. But I like this angle. Big chest fins like wings. A dorsal fin like a vertical tail. Pelvic fins like landing gears. It looks like a fighter waiting for takeoff. When observing, it runs on the sea floor dexterously and floats up around 10cm from the sea floor, flying about 1m and lands on the sea bed. Flight performance doesn’t seem to be very good, yet, it’s cool. Kajika, Owase, Mie, Japan. -18m

Wide Angle : Purple sea pen ヤナギウミエラ

Virgularia gustaviana (Herklots, 1863)

Sea pen forest at Hasama

umi-era in Japanese

These rare sea lives that appear to be bird feathers stuck in the bottom of the sand is called a Sea pen. In Japanese, Umi-Era. The Umi means the sea. Era means gills. Sea pens belong to octocoralia, so-called soft coral, like a Sea Wip or tree coral. Ordinarily, this species is, during the day, it hides into the sand, and when it gets dark, it is appearing from the sand, and spreads its wings. However, in Hasama, even in the daytime, we can often see the mysterious sight of the numbers of Sea pens are standing like the forest. Hasama, Tateyama, Chiba, Japan. -18m.

Macro : Parablennius yatabei イソギンポ

Jordan & Snyder, 1900

It is not rare but cute

Iso-ginpo in Japanese

The Yatabe blenny is a species of combtooth blenny. Two sticks protruding from the head are marks. It is not difficult to see them at the rocky shore in Japan. However, this Yatabe blenny lives at the sandy bottom area. So that his home is the hole of a steel pipe. This pipe is a part of a scaffold that was sunken to make it a fishing reef. This blenny is about 8-10cm. It seems an adult fish. Osezaki, Izu peninsula, Japan. -12m.