Friday, 26 October 2012

Octopussy lives at Lankan Reef

Lankan Reef  Thursday am, 20 metres, 61mins

This  morning’s dive at Lankan Reef was fun. We saw two mantas at different times cruising along the reef, which is their behaviour when there is not much current. I also saw a wonderful octopus who stood proud from the rock he should have been hunkering down under. He allowed everyone to get close and photograph him. My first turtle of the trip appeared in mid water – a small one heading for the surface.
Hassan Ali briefing the dive
Chinese Trumpetfish, Aulostomus chinensis
Christmas tree worm, Pirobranchus giganteus
Clown Triggerfish, Balistoides conspicillum
Giant triton, Charonia tritonis 
The Giant Triton is the only enemy of the Crown of Thorns starfish which feeds on and and destroys large areas of the Great Barrier Reef.
Parrot fish
Maldive Anemonefish, Amphipriion nigripes on anemone
Maldive Anemonefish, Amphipriion nigripes on anemone
Octopus cyanea
Oriental Sweetlips, Plectorhinchus vittatus
Nudibranch, Phyllidia alyta
Variegated Lizardfish, Synodus variegatus
Maagiri Caves Thursday pm, 28 metres 60 mins

A swift current was running along the reef, so the best place was next to the reef and in the caves.  I saw the first mantis shrimp of the trip. As soon as he saw me he headed for a hole.
 Sivad's dive briefing
Alcyonaria soft coral
Alcyonaria soft coral
Featherstar on whip coral
Featherstar on Gorgonian sea fan
Green Mantis shrimp, Odontodactylus scyllarus
Gorgonian sea fan
Gorgonian sea fan
Gorgonian sea fan
Magenta Menella (an Alcyonarian coral)
Pixy Hawkfish, Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus
Pixy Hawkfish, Cirrhitichthys oxycephalus 
Gorgonian sea fan
Slender Sweeper, Parapriacanthus ransonneti
 These fish live in huge shoals at the mouth of overhangs and caves.

Spotfin LIonfish, Pterois antennata
Spotfin LIonfish, Pterois antennata
Whip coral
Butterfly reports have been coming in since I arrived. Bill saw two different patterned large ones by the dive shop yesterday, Abdullah saw a similar black and white spotted one by Adel’s villa. On the boat this afternoon our divemaster reported another near the dive shop. No sign of the Small Cupids I photographed in 2010 and saw last year.

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