WAKATOBI, DEC 2003 - GOBIES, JAWFISH, BLENNIES
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Gobies, Jawfish, Blennies

For some reason, I am fascinated by symbiosis/commensalism -- of the healthy or mutually-beneficial sort, I mean. I am fairly certain that the term, "symbiosis" often has mutual benefit wrapped up in it. But what I am not fascinated by is the sort of co-dependent symbiosis that some human couples end up having. Yuck!

Anyway, back to marine critters. I like to watch the blind bulldozer shrimps pushing sand and rubble out of goby holes. Randall's sailfin shrimp gobies (and their accompanying shrimpies) were particularly beautiful and fun to watch, with a large spot on their fan-like dorsal fin. When a goby gets nervous, it starts twitching, and the shrimps start to become a bit more hesitant. If a boorish diver gets too close, the goby shoots down the hole in the blink of an eye. I've had many a diver descend down upon a goby hole on accident, in an effort to see what I am trying to photograph. Bye-bye, goby!

I was unable to get close to a jawfish. Their paranoia seems too grand for the likes of a mere 100mm macro lens. If I go back, I will strap on a teleconverter and go back for more. And hopefully it will be egging season, so I can see them carry the eggs in their jaws. :)

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SELECTED PHOTOGRAPHS

Sailfin shrimp goby (Amblyeleotris randalli)

A very colorful shrimp goby

Sailfin shrimp goby (Amblyeleotris randalli) with pale banded alpheid shrimp

A shrimp goby, with two apheid shrimps

Randall's jawfish (Opistognathus randalli)

Sabertooth blenny

Loki whip-goby (Bryaninops loki), with eggs (probably damsel eggs)

Many-host goby (Pleurosicya mossambica), on a coral

Many-host goby (Pleurosicya mossambica), on a gorgonian

Many-host goby (Pleurosicya mossambica), on a soft coral

A pair of red fire gobies (Nemateleotris magnifica)

Red fire goby (Nemateleotris magnifica)
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