We took an underwater photography trip to the Philippines in December 2016.
The Verde Island Passage separates Luzon and Mindoro Islands, connecting the South China Sea to Jayabas Bay and the Sibuyan Sea. It is one of the busiest sea lanes in the Philippines, the main shipping route between the port of Manila and the Visayas and Mindanao. Verde Island is one of the best dive sites in the Philippines. It is said to be the world center of marine shorefish biodiversity, with 60% of the world's known shorefish species, 1700 marine species and 300 coral species. The strait is 200 km long and 20 km wide at its narrowest point. There are three dive sites. It is famous for its wall diving. There are often strong currents, up to 5 knots.
Clark's anemonefish, Amphiprion clarkii
Orange-fin anemonefish, Amphiprion chrysopterus
Eastern skunk anemonefish, Amphiprion sandaracinos
Bridled anemonefish, Amphiprion frenatus
Scorpionfish, Scorpaenopsis papuensis
Moorish idol, Zanclus canescens
radial filefish, Acreichthys radfiatus
Saddled puffer, Canthigaster valentini
guineafowl puffer, Arothron meleagris
trumpetfish (painted flutemouth), Aulostomus chinesis
Jewel anthias (basslets), Pseudoanthias dispar
Philippines blenny, Ecsenius dilemma
striped triplefin, Helcogramma striatum
yellowtail coris, Coris gaimard
Moray eels, Gymnothorax sp.
White-eyed moray eel, Siderea thyrsoidea
Lionfish, Pterois volitans
NOTE: We love nudibranchs, but we are not experts on these animals. If you find we have misidentified one, or can identify one we could not, please email us and we will correct it.
"Box cars": two different species, one following the other. Many species exhibit tailing, queuing, or tailgating, with one animal following the mucus trail of another, apparently using sensory cells in its oral tentacles. Since the animals may be members of different species, this behavior is apparently not just a prelude to mating. Here a Miller's Nembrotha (Nembrotha milleri) is trailing a purple-lined Nembrotha (Nembrotha purpureolineata).
Miller's Nembrotha, Nembrotha milleri
Chamberlain's Nembrotha, Nembrotha chamberlaini
Crested Nembrotha, Nembrotha cristata
Purple-lined Nembrotha, Nembrotha purpureolineata
Funeral jorunna, Jorunna funebris
Elegant phyllidia, Phyllidia elegans
Tunichates, ascidians, and hydroids:
stinging hydroid, Aglaophenia sp.
Blue linckia, Linckia laevigata
granular sea star, Choriaster granulatus
fan worm, Bispira sp.
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Last modified 24 April 2018