Friday, October 17, 2014

Anavissos Underwater: A 40 minute snorkeling break

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.















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