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Long Island Collecting Log: Things are heating up

A pair of reef butterflyfish. Photo by Ashleigh Gardner

A pair of reef butterflyfish. Photo by Ashleigh Gardner


It’s late August and, as always, things are heating up in the waters of Long Island. I haven’t had a chance to log many of my excursions for the past month – partly because I’ve been traveling, but mostly because I’ve spent so much time underwater that I haven’t had a lot of time or energy to write.… More:

Reef Market: Jewelry Inspired by Coral

 Isn’t this jewelry lovely? Jen at Nautical Wheeler Jewelry is responsible for the design and creation of each handmade piece, inspired by her travels all over the world. Whether its a gift to thank your patient reef widow for her continued support of your awesome (but very time-consuming and messy) hobby or a pick-me-up to get yourself through these last days of summer, Jen’s meticulously detailed pieces are just perfect.  My favorite item on her site are these coral reef earrings, which resemble coral branches arranged in a teardrop shape, a unique interpretation of a common theme. They’re fun without being kitschy; elegant rather than cute. They come in either gold-plated or silver-plated brass and measure 1.5″x3/4″.… More:

Cherry Corals S.O.S. Live Sale

reefs.comSOSsaleCherry Corals is throwing another awesome live sale this weekend! The summer doldrums of reefing season are upon us, and that means that Cherry Corals has loads of hot aquacultured coral overfilling their raceways. This Saturday (August 15th) be sure to tune into the Summer Overstock Sale from 4pm to Midnight (EST) – all corals are only $20!… More:

The Candy Basslet: A Sweet Deepwater Denizen on Many a Hobbyist’s Wish List

Candy Basslet (Liopropoma carmabi)Ask any group of marine fishkeepers to name their most sought-after species—the fishes they’d really love to own if money and availability were no object—and most of them will likely place the candy basslet (Liopropoma carmabi) somewhere close to the top of that list. Ah, but despite its stunning good looks and very manageable size, L. carmabi, a deepwater species hailing from the tropical western Atlantic and Caribbean, is rarely available in the hobby and fetches a daunting price on the few occasions it is offered for sale. I’ve only ever seen this species in photos and videos (oddly enough, it seldom finds its way into Toledo-area fish stores), but if those depictions are anywhere near accurate, L. carmabi truly is a jewel of a fish. It’s probably all for the best that specimens never materialize locally, however, as I’d probably have to sell my firstborn to afford one.Physical traits Reaching only around 2½ inches, the candy basslet is a relatively diminutive species. But there’s nothing small about its eye-dazzling coloration

National Geographic’s Traveler Photo Contest 2015

While diving in the cool waters of the Puget Sound this gorgeous squid was excited by my bright dive lights. I quickly settled myself and moved in for an amazing encounter. This particular squid hovered for several minutes while I squeezed off several images. With the beautiful blue highlights, this one really stood out. Des Moines, Washington, United States J. Miller

credit: J. Miller

 The winners of National Geographic’s Traveler Photo Contest 2015 have been announced. Submissions came in from all over the world, and while many focus on the unique cultures, people, and architecture of far-off lands, there are some absolutely gorgeous shots of our ocean environment and its inhabitants. My favorite is the picture above, of a beautiful little squid in Puget Sound, Des Moines, Washington, captured by J. Miller. He writes: “While diving in the cool waters of the Puget Sound this gorgeous squid was excited by my bright dive lights. I quickly settled myself and moved in for an amazing encounter. This particular squid hovered for several minutes while I squeezed off several images. With the beautiful blue highlights, this one really stood out.” Below are some other fantastic shots, and you can see all the top entries on the National Geographic site, here.… More:

Tattoo Tuesday

tattoo tuesday 7-28Early in the 20th century, New London, Ct was a thriving port city, with a raucous nightlife fueled bu sailors and alcohol. In fact, my band practiced in an old speakeasy with a beautifully tiled indoor pool, dating from the from the prohibition era. It is said that the town wanted to discourage unruly Navy seamen from invading downtown New London (In Eugene O’Neil’s iconic works, it is known as “uptown”, as the city’s more well-to-do upper class lived 1 mile south of the city center). To achieve this, the town’s council enacted many new ordinances, including outlawing tattoo shops in the city of New London.  Just a few years ago, that ordinance was lifted, and there has been a sort of tattoo parlor renaissance in my old hometown. tattoo tuesday 7-28bOver the years, I have been a particular fan of the work of Elisha Schauer. I saw her art at friends’ houses, at local art shows, and online. These days, she is a tattoo artist at New London Ink, and I really dig the skin art that she has been sharing. The tentacles of all things fishy and reefy runs deep in popular culture. I’m proud to be a part of such a creative, thriving tattoo culture that can bring people into closer contact with our beautiful (and sometimes funny) ocean  world.… More:

Sea Sheep

sea sheepThis is, without a doubt, one of the most adorable sea creatures I have ever seen – and it’s a slug! The tiny creature looks like a cartoon or maybe a Wallace and Gromit character, but it is most certainly real. Costasiella kuroshimae (or ‘Leaf Sheep’ for short) is found in saltwater environments near Indonesia, Japan, and the Philippines, and can grow up to 5mm in length. And, like the mammal it gets its name from, it likes its greens. The Leaf Sheep eats algae, and is one of the only animals in the world that is able to photosynthesize. And while it is not very efficient at it, some species can live for months on photosynthesis alone. As it eats, it partially digests the algae, but leaves the chloroplasts intact, incorporating them into its own body, and storing them in its multiple spiky appendages. The cute little slug then uses the chloroplasts to manufacture energy. The process is called kleptoplasty,a term derived from the Greek word Kleptes (κλέπτης), which means “thief”. and can only be found in certain sacoglossan sea slugs…like this little guy.… More:

Newsday at the Long Island Aquarium

Credit: Newsday/ Thomas A. Ferrara

 Joe Yaiullo and his world-renowned aquarium and staff got to play host to Newsday’s Jimin Kim this week, and provided the reporter and his photographer, Thomas A. Ferrara, with a myriad of fascinating, behind-the-scenes views of the daily workings.  The media team turned their tour into a photo essay, which you can see here.… More:

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