Blue Heron Bridge: First Two Weeks

I have finally managed to put together the first video from my dives at the Blue Heron Bridge. I opted to just go ahead and do them in order so to speak, so this video is of the first two weeks of diving at the bridge – May 24th thru June 4th.

The majority of the clips ended up being of Common Octopus (Octopus vulgaris) because I think this was their mating season (in fact there is at least one clip of them mating) and we had several dives where we would see ten or more octopus. As with other videos, I considered going through and annotating the various critters, but the software I use for making the videos doesn’t really make that easy, so I’m again opting for just providing a list of highlights here:

00:00 – The video starts with some fish and corals/sponges which is the only such clip in this video as it just isn’t all that common at the bridge and I didn’t video much of it
00:35 – If you ever wondered what it looks like to be winked at by an octopus, here’s your answer…
00:58 – Polka-dot Batfish (Ogcocephalus radiatus) – a bottom dwelling fish with a lure on its head (not shown) and an interesting way of moving by “walking” on its fins (though it can and will swim normally as well)
01:20 – Mating octopus (note the tentacle reaching over to the octopus on right)
01:40 – Neck Crabs (Podochela spp.) like to decorate themselves with various other living organisms for camouflage and protection, in the case of these two individuals with hydroids which have stinging cells and sponges… I am not sure if the “drunk” walking is also a form of camouflage or if carrying all that extra weight makes it difficult for them
02:19 – Striated Frogfish (Antennarius striatus) – another bottom dweller that prefers to “walk” and has a lure on its head used for bringing in unsuspecting fish prey
02:30 – Possible more mating Common Octopus
02:45 – Banded Coral Shrimp (Stenopus hispidus)
02:52 – Common Octopus starting to build her burrow in which she will lay her eggs (I think)
03:16 – Orangespotted Goby (Nes longus) (I think) starting to build a new burrow – usually these fish live with a shrimp that tends to do this work, but I guess when one has not moved in yet, the fish does some of the work… I should have video later on of the shrimp
03:46 – Southern Stingray (Dasyatis americana) foraging for lunch
04:28 – Yellow Stingray (Urolophus jamaicensis)
04:33 – Leopard Searobin (Prionotus scitulus) – yet another bottom dweller, this time with an even more interesting “walking” technique
04:48 – Yellowline Arrow Crab (Stenorhynchus seticornis) with an apparently very itchy elbow…
04:55 – Common Octopus missing two arms… most likely this means it is a male that has mated and during mating decided to detach the arm used for mating and leave it with the female while he escaped to avoid some danger

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