|Mavro Lithari Beach next to HCMR headquarters Anavissos Attika. Tall tamarisks, humid late afternoon. Paradise.|
October 16th 2014
With a camera in the water you feel like a hunter. A collector of rare images, perfect stills - priceless portraits. Documents from paradise.
I cherish these portraits; although I actually rarely carry the camera - I feel it actually distracts from my roving snorkel survey pastime (another fish-watching story).
At HCMR headquarters, about 50 km south of Athens, we have a piece of Mediterranean paradise in our backyard. I went in and shot several photos with the liberal use of its flash yesterday (I already mentioned the Percnon crabs here in a recent post). The camera I am using has a zoom feature so many of these are well framed but very "grainy". Some of these are edited for exposure. I use a Stylus Tough series with underwater case. The camera costs about 350 Euros, the case maybe 400 Euros. Instruments of total perfection - bringing nature into the digital world.
So this is what marine biodiversity is like in the Western Aegean...
All shots in this blog post were taken during a very enjoyable 40 mins in the water just yesterday!
|Typical warm evening with about 10 m. visibility. Sand smelt Atherina sp. approached by a young bold sea bass (Dicentrarchus labrax).|
|Another, larger sea bass with box-lipped grey mullets (Oedalechilus labeo). Perhaps its moving with the mullet school as cover.|
|Dusky rabbitfish (Siganus luridus) - a Lessepsian migrant waiting for wrasse cleaning.|
|A very small dusky grouper Epinephelus marginatus, perhaps about 6 cm TL.|
|Baby dusky grouper; one of the cutest and most endangered of the fishes encountered.|
|Triplefin species (Tripterygion sp.); macro shot - really tiny but well lit with the flash.|
|Also a Tripterygion species, these Triplefins are common in the rock fissures - perhaps because I was out in the overcast evening more were evident this time.|
|Cropped close-up of the dazzling Triplefin.|
|The commonest wrasse on the beach rock reefs is this Peacock Wrasse Thalassoma pavo.|
|Groupers are my favorite fishes out here - they are more evident in late summer - I see two or three in 100 m. of shallow reef.|
|The striped red mullet Mullus surmuletus.|
|The striped red mullet Mullus surmuletus. It was hiding under the crevasse in total darkness.|
|Pompano (Trachionotus ovatus) with grey mullets near the little pier (build with sandbag cement).|
|Mugilids in a turbid patch among the beach rocks and staircase for summer tourists.|
|Grey mullets feeding in algae rich shallows of the beach rocks.|
|Scorpionfish (Scorpaena sp.). in a fissure under the pier.|
|Some kind of Goby (or 'sand goby'), Gobius species. Actually looks a lot like Gobius bucchichi.|
|Zvonimir's blenny (Parablennius zvonimiri); a common denizen of rocky areas with lots of sponges.|
|My first observatoin of Lipophrys trigloides, the Combtooth Blenny, normally active at night (thanks to D. Koutsogiannopoulos for the identification).|
|A herbivorous fish, the commonest of blennies on the beach rocks: Parablennius sanguinolentus.|