Last week, we revealed four of the Liquid Guru’s top underwater videos. This week, as the final part of our three-part series, we bring you the final four:
Soft Coral Pipefish
Siokunichthys breviceps is a marine species that is associated with tropical soft coral habitats, it has no recorded predators or prey, but likely preys on small planktonic or benthic crustaceans.
“These are tiny, around four to five centimetres long and very slim. I had seen some photos that our guests had taken, and was very excited to go and film one, especially as they look like a challenging subject!
“Soft coral is, as the name suggests, soft. This means that it moves around, swaying to and fro. And this means [that soft coral pipefish], together with their diminutive size, are rather tricky to film. Undeterred, as always, I was lucky to find a few of them and managed to keep them in focus for long enough to capture.
“They are very beautiful, and they move around, seeking cover in the coral, occasionally poking their heads out to look ‘outside’. After studying the footage on a big screen when I got back, I noticed that I had managed to film a male pipefish, and halfway through this clip you can see, on the side of his body, small eyes where the eggs are forming! A wonderful thing to see.”
Wunderpus photogenicus is a species of octopus that is found in shallow waters, and has well-defined white spots on the mantle, and bars on the arms.
“A wonderful Wonderpus, trying to hide by building a coral barricade. These incredible octopus are tiny. This one’s head is about 3centimetres from top to bottom.”
Syllids are a large and diverse group of active worms which are mostly found creeping over sponges, ascidians, hydroids, bryozoa and algae or burrowing in the surface layers of silt and are common in protected sandbanks. They feed by piercing the skin of certain marine animals and pump out the juice.
“A rather interesting critter has been seen and photographed recently. After a bit of research we discovered it was a type of something called a Syllid Worm.
“I finally found one of these very pretty creatures yesterday and managed to film one. They are smaller than I thought they would be, as this one is only about three or four centimetres long. It is great to watch its multiple little feet moving…”
The Melibe genus is unique in comprising of active predators versus the typical Nudibranch that feed on sessile inverts. Melibe colemani was first discovered by the late great underwater photographer, Neville Coleman.
“This amazing nudibranch is often called the holy grail of the sea slug world. Incredibly cryptic and only known from a few areas, I have wanted to see this critter for many years. Finally, I have…
“When seen still, i.e. on a photograph, it can be hard to work out exactly how this creature works. Where’s its head? Is it all body? Is it real? I was lucky enough to film it feeding, and so you can clearly see how it’s put together, with the distinctive Melibe extendable oral hood, which it throws out in front of it, like a net, to capture small crustaceans.”
Check out the rest of the series