Sunday, June 21, 2009

63 species - 45 minutes snorkelling - Mamutik

A strange kind of Anemone to say the least, this was photographed off Sapi island back on 11th July 2008.

After a long weekend SCUBA diving near Cebu in the Philippines last month and processing all the emerging photos, I'm now able to get back to more recent events nearer home - this time a chance to test out my newly repaired video camera snorkelling off Mamutik island. Not very good I'm afraid, but it has still been possible to pick out 63 fish species during just 3/4 hour before the battery gave up. And three of these are new to my TARP fish list (now standing at 430 species), one also being new to the comprehensive TARP fish checklist (now at 551 with evidence).

The overall new fish is the Halfbeak Hyporhamphus dussumieri. The other two are the Damsel Pomacentrus simsiang and wonderfully - the Butterflyfish Chaetodon adiergastos (last listed here in 1992).

Going back to the 63 fish species in 45 minutes, I'm wondering whether there could ever be enough interest to have some sort of contest in TARP - to photograph and identify as many fish species as possible whilst snorkelling? Maybe something for the future...

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