Introducing: ‘Life on the Reef’ New Photo Guide

A new photo guide “Life on the Reef:Corals, Sea Squirts, Sponges, Bryozoa, Comb Jellies, Marine Plants Indo-Pacific Field Guide” by Andrey Ryanskiy has just been published!

Till May, 31 the special price on eBook, 13,49$, is valid. Link

Corals, jellyfish, sponges, tunicates, and bryozoans form the very essence of a coral reef, representing most of its biodiversity. Their taxonomy has undergone significant changes over the past 15 years.

Despite this, popular and accessible guides to these species have not been published for many decades. Andrey Ryanskiy’s new book in the Reef ID Books series aims to fill this gap.

Together with this volume, the total coverage of the species in the Reef ID Books series of eight books reaches an incredible number of 8500 species!

You can buy this eBook Travel Set at a special price of 99$! Link

Featuring over 1,430 species and 2,100 photographs, this book offers a comprehensive look at the benthic community.
It not only helps scuba divers, underwater photographers, and enthusiasts understand what they see underwater but also provides information and numerous examples of macrolife associated with corals, hydroids, sponges, and tunicates.

The photo guide is also available as a paperback & hardcover on Amazon & eBook oon Apple store


5 Facts you Might Not Know about Sea Stars

These quirky creatures of the ocean have some fascinating facts that will leave you in awe.

1.  Sea stars aren’t actually fish! They belong to a group of marine invertebrates called echinoderms, which also includes sea urchins and sea cucumbers.

2.  Sea stars have a unique way of moving. Instead of using fins or flippers, they have hundreds of tiny tube feet on their undersides. It’s like they have their own built-in suction cups, making them the original “hands-free” explorers of the ocean.

3. Most Sea stars can regenerate their limbs. If a Sea star loses an arm, it can actually grow it back! Talk about having the ultimate superpower of self-renewal.

Torn-of-Crown Sea Star

4.  Sea stars have a peculiar way of eating. They have a stomach that can be pushed out of their body to engulf their prey. It’s like having a conveyor belt of digestion! After a meal, they retract their stomach back into the body.

5. Ever wondered how Sea stars reproduce? Well, some species have separate genders, but others can change their sex! They are true masters of adaptation and gender-fluidity.

More about Sea Stars & other echinoderm like Sea Cucumbers, Sea Urchins & others you can find in the photo guide Starfishes and Other Echinoderms of the Tropical Indo-Pacific

Fun Facts About Anemonefish

Did you know that anemonefish, also known as clownfish, are not only adorable but also fascinating creatures? Dive into the vibrant world of these colorful reef dwellers with our fun facts:

Spinecheek Anemonefish

 1. Mutual Relationship: Anemonefish have a unique symbiotic relationship with sea anemones. They live in the protective tentacles of the anemones, which provide shelter from predators, while the fish, in turn, bring food to the anemones and remove parasites.

 2. Gender-Bending: Anemonefish have the ability to change their gender! When the dominant female dies, the dominant male transforms into a female, and the next in line becomes the new male. It’s an extraordinary adaptation for maintaining a healthy population. 

Pink Anemonefish

3. Protective Parents: Anemonefish are incredible parents. After laying their eggs on a flat surface close to the anemone, the male diligently guards and aerates them until they hatch. Once the eggs hatch, the parents continue to protect and care for their tiny offspring.

Twoband Anemonefish aerating its eggs

4. Immune to Anemone Sting: Anemones have stinging cells that can harm other fish, but anemonefish have a special mucus coating on their skin that protects them from the anemone’s sting. They can safely navigate through the anemone’s tentacles without getting hurt. 

Western Anemonefish also known as Nemo

5. Communal Living: Anemonefish are social creatures and often live in small groups called “clans” or “schools.” Within these groups, there is a strict hierarchy, with the largest and most dominant female being the leader.

More about Anemonefishes & other beautiful Indo-Pacific fishes you can find in the photo guide Reef Fishes of the Coral Triangle

Scorpionfish: Facts You Might Not Know

Have you ever come across the enigmatic scorpionfish during your underwater explorations? Today, we are excited to share some fascinating facts about these incredible creatures that you may find intriguing.

Ruby Scorpionfish

1. Scorpionfish are masters of camouflage, often blending seamlessly with their surroundings due to their mottled and sometimes colorful skin patterns, making them highly effective ambush predators. 

2. These fish are equipped with venomous spines on their dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins, which they use for self-defense. Their venom can cause intense pain, swelling, and in rare cases, even death in humans, making them a hazard to unwary divers and fishermen. 

Ocellated Scorpionfish

3. Scorpionfish have a unique hunting technique, using their pectoral fins to “walk” along the seafloor and disturb the substrate, flushing out potential prey such as small fish and crustaceans. 

4. They are generally solitary and territorial creatures, often remaining in the same area for extended periods, waiting patiently to ambush passing prey.

Filamentous Scorpionfish

5. Scorpionfish are known for their elaborate courtship displays, with males performing dances and visual demonstrations to attract females before spawning. 

6. Despite their venomous nature, scorpionfish are a popular target for recreational fishermen and are considered a delicacy in many parts of the world, though handling and preparing them requires caution.

Ambon Scorpionfish

More about Scorpionfishes & other beautiful Indo-Pacific fishes you can find in the photo guide Reef Fishes of the Coral Triangle

Nudibranch Spanish Dancer – the Most Iconic & Beautiful Sea Creature

This mesmerizing creature is one that divers around the world strive to see during their night dives. Let’s uncover some fun facts about this captivating species:

 1. Spanish dancer earned its name due to its graceful, rhythmic movements that resemble a flamenco dancer’s twirling skirt. 

2. These nudibranchs are known for their striking coloration, featuring bright red or orange bodies. Their vibrant appearance serves as a warning to potential predators that they are toxic or distasteful.

3. Spanish dancers are quite large for nudibranch standards, reaching lengths of up to 60 centimeters. Their size, combined with their vivid colors, makes them a popular subject for underwater photographers. 

4. Unlike most nudibranchs, Spanish dancers are not strictly herbivorous. They primarily feed on toxic sponges, which contain chemicals that they can store in their own bodies for defense.

juvenile

5. During mating, Spanish dancers engage in a beautiful courtship dance involving synchronized movements. They release their eggs and sperm into the water, where fertilization occurs externally. 

6. Nudibranchs, including Spanish dancers, are hermaphrodites, meaning they possess both male and female reproductive organs. This allows them to mate with any other mature individual they encounter.

More about Spanish Dancers & other beautiful nudibranchs you can find in the photo guide Nudibranchs of the Coral Triangle

5 Things You Might not Know About Rays

Rays are fascinating creatures that inhabit our oceans and have some surprising characteristics.

Round Ribbontail Ray

1. Rays Are Not Actually Fish: Contrary to popular belief, rays are not classified as fish. They belong to a distinct group of cartilaginous fishes called elasmobranchs, which also includes sharks. 

2. Electric Rays: Some species of rays, known as electric rays, have the incredible ability to generate and discharge electric shocks. These shocks are used for various purposes, such as hunting prey and self-defense.

Blackspotted Electric Ray

3. Winged Swimmers: Rays are renowned for their unique flat body shape, which resembles a pair of wings. This design allows them to gracefully glide through the water, effortlessly maneuvering and often appearing as if they are flying.

 4. Venomous Stingers: Many ray species possess a venomous stinger located at the base of their tail. These stingers are primarily used for defense and can cause painful injuries if stepped on or accidentally touched.

Spotted Eagle Ray

5. Rays Reproduce Differently: Unlike most fish, rays have a unique reproductive system. Instead of laying eggs, female rays give birth to live young. These pups develop within the mother’s body and are nourished through a placental connection until they are ready to be born. 

Next time you encounter a ray, remember these fascinating facts and appreciate the remarkable diversity of these mesmerizing creatures in our oceans!

More about rays you can find in the photo guide Coral Reefs Maldives

Some Intriguing Facts About Fascinating Ocean Animals Called Flatworms

Make sure to read until the end. The most intriguing fact awaits you at the end.

 1. Diversity. Flatworms represent a diverse group of invertebrates that come in a variety of colors, shapes, and sizes. Known over 20,000 of flatworm species.

2. No Body Cavity. Flatworms lack a body cavity between their gut and body wall. This unique feature gives them a flat, ribbon-like appearance and inspired their common name. 

3. Regenerative Abilities. If a flatworm is cut into several pieces, each piece has the ability to regenerate into a complete organism. This ability to regrow missing body parts is truly extraordinary! 

4. Hermaphroditic Nature: Most flatworms are hermaphroditic, meaning they possess both male and female reproductive organs. This enables them to engage in reciprocal mating, where two individuals fertilize each other’s eggs. 

5. Predatory Behavior: Some flatworms are voracious predators, feeding on small invertebrates and even other flatworms. They use their muscular bodies and adhesive secretions to capture and consume their prey.

6. Unique Reproductive Behavior: In certain species of flatworms mating involves a peculiar behavior called ‘penis fighting.’ During this process, two flatworms extend their long, extendable penises and engage in a battle of sorts. The goal is to inseminate the opponent while avoiding being inseminated in return. It’s an intense and unusual reproductive strategy observed only in the world of flatworms!

 Flatworms are truly captivating ocean animals, showcasing a range of adaptations and behaviors. Their unique biology and ecological roles make them a fascinating subject of study for marine enthusiasts and scientists alike!

More about them you can find in the Marine Flatworms of the Tropical Indo-Pacific

The Weird and Wonderful World of Marine Worms

A new book by Andrey Ryanskiy has just been published!

Marine worms are recognized world champions in biodiversity. This book is the first photo guide to these secretive and often strange animals. The book is based on photographs taken by the author, as well as his friends – citizen scientists and professional marine biologists.

It is designed for the general public interested in marine life. The book is also of interest to scuba divers and underwater photographers interested in identifying their underwater finds. This photo guide should also assist marine biologists and students in the initial identification of collected marine worms.

The book covers the region from the Red Sea, East and South Africa to Hawaii, Marshall Islands and Guam.

Inside the book:

– Over 820 full color photographs of 440+ species;

– Particular attention was paid to color variations, for some species up to 10 photos were added;

– Live photographs of most of the species have never before appeared in field guides or popular books;

– Convenient pictorial guide at the beginning and genera index at the end of the book.

Find all purchase links here

Red Sea Marine Life Book has just been published

Reef ID Books is delighted to announce the launching of a new marine life guide Red Sea Marine Life. The book continues Reef ID Books’ commitment to publishing first-class marine life guides for underwater photographers, snorkelers and marine biologists.

Some reasons why you need to buy Red Sea Marine Life Book:

  • A comprehensive pictorial guide: 2900 full color photographs of 2100+ species, including 810+ fish species, 250 cnidarians (corals and relatives) and near 350 species of nudibranchs and sea slugs.
  • New species of fish, nudibranchs, sea slugs and other invertebrates were discovered by the author during the work on this book.
  • Several well-known Western Pacific species have been recorded for the first time in the Red Sea.
  • Live photo of hundreds of species have never before appeared in field guides or popular books.
  • The book covers the region from the Aqaba and Eilat to Farasan Islands, South Sudan and Erithrea.
  • Red Sea Marine Life serves to fill a gap in the general public’s understanding of Red Sea marine life in the two decades since the previous guides were published.
  • This book does provides its readers with basic information about the biology and taxonomy, serving mainly as a visual guide to their identification.
  • Convenient pictorial guide at the beginning will help readers navigate through the book.

Find all purchase links here.

Some animals can chop off their own heads!

DID YOU KNOW that Elysia marginata is capable of decapitating itself when its body becomes infected with parasites?

Sounds fantastic, but it’s true!

What’s even more bizarre, the head gets around fine without its body. In three weeks, it regenerates a new body, perfectly functioning and parasite-free.

Elysia marginata

“We’ve known for a long time that sea slugs have regenerative capabilities, but this really goes beyond what we had thought,” said Terry Gosliner, senior curator of invertebrate zoology at the California Academy of Science.