Saturday, July 14, 2007

GLIDER ON THE FORE REEF

BETTA XENIA  FLAT DSCN1420This graceful glider of the deep, is a COMET, or Marine Betta. Calloplesiops altivelis [Steindachner, 1903]
This extremely hardy fish will feed out of my hand. Absolutely non aggressive, though don`t tell small shrimp that, it`s defense is to head into a hole in the reef, then stop with it`s tail left protruding out.
It then flares out, resembling a more dangerous eel, made more convincing, with it`s eyespot.
I`ve had this gorgeous Comet for years, & it is my gentle persuader, announcing feeding time.
It comes out onto the reef crest & with a graceful thrust, floats across, flashing it`s gold & blues, a sure attention getter.
Here it is exiting a cleft in the reef structure, & in it`s shadow, the strange movements of the pusing Xenia, mesmerize.

11 comments:

AndiF said...

Looking at it is really mesmerizing -- the pattern of dots seems to draw one in and not let go.

Knucklehead said...

AndiF,
It`s strange that you mention that. It`s like this.
The spots on the body, move with the body, but the spots , in a circular pattern around the eye, move with the eye.
When the fish is looking at you but moving his body up or down, everything rotates around the non-moving spots of it`s eye. It is really visually confusing, or it just doesn`t seem natural.
A lot of people notice that. If I took a long exposure of this occurence, the eye would remain in focus but the rest of the body would show motion blur.

Knucklehead said...

I forgot to mention why the "Pulsing Xenia" mesmerizes.
Sometimes called "Waving Hand Xenia" the extremities open & close in rythmic pulses, somewhat like an infant grasping at straws, so to speak. With these pulsations, it captures food in it`s 'hands' & so, lives up to it`s name as a " filter feeder".
It filters minute particles out of the water column.
As well as most corals, this one being a "soft coral", so named because of it`s lack of a hard skeletal frame, you can snip off a branch, & secure it to a rock base with adhesive or "reef safe" glue, & it will grow into another self replicating colony.
You may also bring your "trimmings" to a "frag meet" & trade them with other "Reefer" for some of their "Fragged" corals.
That way, most corals are spread out around the world, & reliance on selective removal from our precious seas, becomes less & less.
As for the more mobile species we reefers keep, Aquacultered corals & the successful breeding , of ever more difficult fish, assures an ever increasing awareness of nature`s frailty, while having to depend less on drawing from the principle source, while yet establishing a secondary stock to replenish low ones. A Noah`s ark, maybe

AndiF said...

Thanks for taking the time to share that info -- it's fascinating. Now I want to see a video.

Knucklehead said...

AndiF,
It won`t be long.
I`ll have copies made.
I have a DVD, I made of three of my tanks.
It`s edited out of dozens & dozens of hours of filming. I then edited footage to music & cut everything to the beat of the different tunes.
It lasts almost an hour.
I then tripled it to nearly three hours, then taped it back to back. In effect, I created a 6 hour loop, & installed it at a fish store in LA, called "Aquarium City".
I think from most peoples` reactions to it, you`d most definitely enjoy it.
I`ll make it happen.
Another thing that is strange, is when I show it to some people who have no real knowledge of my keeping reef tanks, while asking them if they`d ever seen some film of my vacation in FIJI, they watch in amazement, thinking they`re along with me, in the reefs of the south seas.
I even mention the dangers of possible sharks in the area, & they also try & peer into the depths of the footage, in hopes, maybe, of spotting one I may not have yet seen. Smoke & mirrors are all done with movies.

Family Man said...

Excellent picture Head.

With the dots and all, it reminded me of one of those posters from years ago that you had to stare at for a couple of minutes before a picture emerged.

NDD said...

Great! An aq shot! I'll have to alert Ms NDD.

It's hard to tell whether Comet is comin' or goin'. It's fascinating to learn how nature has evolved these protection mechanisms.

Count me in on the DVD, just let me know how many jars of chokecherry jelly ya need! And where!

Knucklehead said...

FM,
It wasn`t that long ago, that staring at a blank wall would get me THX & Global Vision. I`ve tried staring at all the posters here & all I get is comments.
Thanks

Knucklehead said...

NDD, As a recipient of a "Lifetime Achievement Award", Tuesdays, will now be dedicated to postings of images, requested by any of the ladies who have honored us all, by their acceptance of this humble award. The remaining days of the week will be like
bowling night. ha.
I seem to remember her interest in some of the lovely creatures that I`ve been lucky to acquire, a good many, as a result of rescues.
A choice of color, number of legs, number of mouths, soft corals, large polyped stony corals[LPS],small polyped stonies [SPS] polyps, mushrooms, shrimp, crabs, anemonies or whatever floats her boat. Lets see if I can be stumped.
A reef is a perfect place to wonder at the "miracles" that evolution has led to.
Is the jelly sealed in wax, or do you use Mason Jars. Pot is really hard to seal in wax.
There is a blogger that has commented here I think, that should be receiving that DVD any day. When he/she is done with it & I get it back, I will make a batch of copies & you can have at it.
BTW, I did have a bit of a rep years ago for my chokecherry wine.
I`m about to bottle some wine any day, made with local Malibu grape.

NDD said...

Wow! Great! At least you know what chokecherries are. And better yet what to do with them.

wax or no wax, well depends on who's making the jelly. The local grandmas all use wax. The local lady who sells her jellies uses screwed on lids. No mason jars, as no need for vacuum packed on the jellies.

I think our favorite fish so far of what we've seen prior to this blog is the clown. But I'll check with Ms later tomorrow see if she has any specific requests.

Knucklehead said...

NDD,
You may want to narrow it down a little more than, a clown. I think I have four of them in three different reefs & they are three different species. But if it`s clowns she wants, come tuesday; Enter the clowns.
I`m wondering if I can be stumped. As long as one doesn`t do research to find some exotic, I think I`ll be cool.
I`ve had home preserves of all sorts years ago. You can`t beat that homemade food.
Forget, narrowing it down, I`ve got some stuff that will definitely thrill her, I`m positive, although, I have some thrillers of all the clowns.