The Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator) is a species of marine angelfish. It is a reef-associated fish, native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans, from Red Sea to Hawai and the Austral Islands. This species is generally associated with stable populations and faces no major threats of extinction. It is a favorite of photographers, artists, and aquarists because of its unique, brilliant pattern of coloration.
I met this Calyx nicaeensis, Goblet Sponge, during a dive in the reefs of the Secche di Vada near Livorno. The name owes it to its characteristic goblet shape. According to some experts, this sponge has become extremely rare in the Mediterranean because it requires very stable water temperature and biological conditions: small variations are enough to decree its disappearance. We all know by now that climate change has a heavy impact on biological life, but few seem to realize that it also affects the deep sea.
We met the Red Squirrelfish (Sargocentron rubrum) in the sea of Cyprus while snorkelling among the rocks of the island. We did not expect to have this meeting in the Mediterranean because it is a tropical fish present in all tropical seas and in particular in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. The reason for this sighting, as indeed for other tropical species now present in the Mediterranean, we owe it to the climatic warming of the sea, which creates favorable conditions, and to the Lessepsian migration: that is, to the entry and stabilization of animal and tropical species from the Channel of Suez.
Martasteria or Thorny starfish (Marthasterias glacialis Linnaeus, 1758) is one of the most common starfish in the Mediterranean Sea, it is an echinoderm of the Asteriidae family. In this video we see it lying on a cliff that varies from 41 to 49 meters deep, rich in red Gorgonians of the Paramuricea clavata species and the classic yellow sponges of the Verongia species, therefore a guaranteed show of colors at the expense, however, of the visibility of the water about two or three meters. ...
The Red sponge or spirastrella (Spirastrella cunctatrix) is a sponge of the Spirastrellidae family belonging to the demospongiae class. It is an encrusting red-orange sponge (which can sometimes turn green, blue and grey), characterized by very evident channels that culminate in the osculum, rough to the touch due to the presence of spicules. It can also cover large expanses of seabed. It can be confused with the encrusting forms of Crambe crambe. It is common in the Mediterranean Sea up to 30 meters, sometimes present even at greater depths, in dimly lit, rocky environments, often in caves. Often associated with coralligenous and Astroides calycularis.
Acanthurus bariene is a tropical fish also commonly known as the bariene surgeonfish, blackspot surgeonfish, or eyespot surgeonfish. It was first named by René Primavère Lesson in 1831. This species is widespread in the tropical Indo-Pacific from Mozambique and the Maldives in the west to the Solomon Islands in the east and reaching north to the Ryūkyū and south to the Australian Great Barrier Reef. The habitat of this fish is the coral reefs where it lives on the outer side in depth. The juveniles live in shallow waters and in areas protected from the waves, finding refuge among the soft corals. It can be found between 6 and 50 meters of depth, rarely above 15 meters and usually below 30.
Phalium glaucum, common name the grey bonnet or glaucus bonnet, is a species of large sea snail, a marine gastropod mollusk in the family Cassidae, the helmet snails and bonnet snails. This species lives on sandy bottoms with seagrass meadows, in intertidal and shallow subtidal areas to a depth of about 10 m. Shell of Phalium glaucum can reach a length of 60-147 millimetres.
Sea pens are colonial marine cnidarians belonging to the order Pennatulacea. There are 14 families within the order and 35 extant genera; it is estimated that of 450 described species, around 200 are valid. Sea pens have a cosmopolitan distribution, being found in tropical and temperate waters worldwide, as well as from the intertidal to depths of more than 6100 m.Sea pens are grouped with the octocorals, together with sea whips (gorgonians).
Moray Eel is often identified as an aggressive and dangerous fish but as we can see from this video it is anything but an "evil titan of the seas". We are on a rocky and coral seabed typical of the Mediterranean Sea at about 46/48 meters deep, where we often meet the Mediterranean moray Moray eel, Muraena helena, and in this case it is seen in the typical diurnal pose, i.e. with the head and a small part of the body outside its den while it rests from the nocturnal raids in search of food but always vigilant in controlling its own territory. ...
Under the surface of the sea an exuberant life is "hidden" that develops in three dimensions, full of countless beings so different from each other where the competition for life sometimes becomes dramatic but always finds a delicate balance of coexistence. The interest in observation leads us to appreciate a wonderful aquatic life, both animal and plant, present at all depths.
In this video we show you a particular form of mutualistic symbiosis, quite widespread in the marine aquatic environment, between a Labroides dimidiatus cleaner fish and a Titan Triggerfish. The cleaning operations constitute a mode of relationship in which the cleaner fish feeds on the ectoparasites, on the now dead skin tissue flaps and on the food residues of the host, which undergoes its care. The "customer", i.e. the fish being cleaned, gains a better fit of its body, while the cleaner gains nourishment.
Astropecten jonstoni is a sea star of the family Astropectinidae. Starfishes of genus Astropecten live on mobile seabed (sandy, muddy or gravel seabed) and they remain largely buried under sediment during the day. During the late afternoon and the night starfishes go out to hunt mainly bivalve molluscs, which are their favourite preys. Unlike other Astropecten, this species is active and easy to find during day, especially in early morning and late afternoon. However, if they perceive a danger or if they are disturbed, in this case by a diver who is snorkelling as you can see in the video we are showing you, they tend to get covered up quickly. This species lives only in the Mediterranean Sea and it prefers sandy seabed at low depths as between 1 and 12 m.
Reteporella grimaldii is a species of bryozoans in the family Reteporidae. It is composed of a colony of small animals that form a limestone substrate which takes the form of a refined lace. Hence the name of sea lace. The animals that compose it live on organic particles, plankton, filtering the water carried by the current. The Reteporella can take on different colors based on the species and the environmental conditions in which it lives. We have little information on the environment in which it lives but we can say with certainty, based on our direct experience, that it is possible to meet it from 10 meters up to 100 meters deep. The video we show you was shot in the Mediterranea Sea at 56 meters deep.
The vessel EDRO III, flying the flag of Sierra Leone, ran aground to Cyprus in the area of the Maritime Caves off Pegeia in the county of Paphos,on 8 October 2011, during a storm with rough seas and following the failure of the engine which prevented her from being controlled. The shipwreck occurred during a voyage from Cyprus, Limassol, to Rhodes with a cargo of plasterboard. The ship had a crew of nine sailors including the commander: seven of Albanian nationality and two of Egyptian nationality. Rescue was activated quickly, and thanks a British military helicopter present in Cyprus, the crew was saved.
Naso lituratus is a species of fish in the family Acanthuridae, the tangs and unicornfishes. Its common names include barcheek unicornfish, naso tang, and orange-spine unicornfish. Unique to members of Acanthuridae, including Naso lituratus, are the Epulopiscium bacteria. These bacteria influence the digestion of Naso lituratus, helping them process the algae in their diet. Naso lituratus can be found in the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. This species can be easily recognised by two bright orange forward-hooked spines on the caudal peduncle (the tail base), its orange lips and black face mask. The body is brownish grey with yellow nape and there is a broad black band on the dorsal fin. It reaches about 45 cm in length.
We publish another encounter with the Sea hare, Aplysia depilans, this time which took place on a depth of about 42/45 meters. We are on a not very high rock wall about 4/5 miles from the coast where, due to the now increasingly present mucillage, animals and marine organisms seem to have disappeared. ...
The Savalia savaglia, commonly known as gold coral, is a species colonial in the family Parazoanthidae. This organism is commonly called "false black coral". It owes its name to its ability to produce a dark-colored horny skeleton, usually blackish. The colonies are generally settled on pre-existing gorgonians skeletons and can grow with ramifications that far exceed one meter in length. The polyps of this coral have six tentacles which is why the species is part of Hexacorallia group. They are bright yellow or whitish, and very large and showy (2-3 cm high), similar to those of Parazoanthus axinellae. Sprout very well from the tissue that lines the skeleton (coenenchyme) and have available alternates, showing smooth tentacles. The polyps do not fall as those of other species but can retract and close in on themselves.
Demosponges are the most diverse class in the phylum Porifera. They include 76.2% of all species of sponges with nearly 8,800 species worldwide (World Porifera Database). Sponges, contrary to what one might think at first sight, are very simple multicellular animal organisms very similar in shape and appearance to plant organisms. There are no apparatus in the sponges and there is no trace of a nervous system.
I met these beautiful colonies of Parazoanthus axinellae during a snorkeling activity in the coastal caves of the island of Pantelleria. In my experience as a diver I have never encountered these sea daisies at almost surface level; evidently in this case the colony of Parazoanthus axinellae has found particularly favorable environmental conditions of light and sea currents
During a scuba dive in a beautiful Mediterranean coral reef of Savalia savaglia and Paramuricea clavata, at a depth between 72 and 76 meters, I met this unknown marine organism for the first time. Curiosity prompted me to carry out a series of searches to understand precisely what I was dealing with. Research has not yielded a satisfactory answer. The questions I asked myself were many. Based on my experience of many years of scuba diving it could be an animal belonging to the phylum Prorifera.
The Yellow-edged Lyretail (Variola louti) is a species of grouper belongs Actinopterygii class, Perciformes order and Serranidae family; also known as the lyretail grouper or the caramel cod. The yellow-edged lyretail is found from the Red Sea to South Africa and the Pitcairn Islands, as far as southern Japan and Australia.
Percnon gibbesi is a species of crab. It is one of at least two species commonly called "Sally Lightfoot" (the other being the semi-terrestrial Grapsus grapsus from the Pacific coast of the Americas), and is also referred to as the nimble spray crab or urchin crab. It has been described as "the most invasive decapod species to enter the Mediterranean". It populates the rocky ravines of the infralittoral plain at a depth ranging from a few centimeters to a maximum of 30 meters. This video was shot in the reefs of the island of Pantelleria in the Sicily Channel.
Myriapora truncata, also known by its common name false coral is a species from the genus Myriapora. The species was originally described by Peter Simon Pallas in 1766. Myriapora truncata is a common species on rocky environments from the water surface to a depth of 60 meter, where it forms calcareous colonies. It has a bright red colour which earned it its common name of "False coral". Studies suggest that M. truncata seem well able to withstand the levels of ocean acidification predicted in the next 200 years. Myriapora truncata is the source of 4 polyketide-derived metabolites.
This video was made in December 2022 during a short vacation I spent on Angaaga island; I must say that the weather was not what I wanted and therefore, not being able to do scuba diving with aqualung, I dedicated myself to snorkelling in the coral reef that surrounded the island. The small island of Angaga is located in the center of Alifu Dhaalu Atoll, in the southern part of Ari Atoll. This small island has been used exclusively as a tourist resort for those who intend to spend a holiday in the Maldives.
We are on some isolated rocks at a depth of 40/46 meters, where we have found two beautiful specimens of Charonia tritonis, Giant mediterranean triton. This is the mollusk and consequently the largest shell in the Mediterranean Sea. In this dive we met two of them, we filmed the first one casually on the wall we were exploring, we realized watching the footage that we passed by without seeing it. The second was inside a hole from which we moved it to try to film it better. ...
The ornate wrasse, Thalassoma pavo, is a species of wrasse native to the rocky coasts of the eastern Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. This species is of minor importance to local commercial fisheries, is also popular as a game fish, and can be found in the aquarium trade.
Silvio wreck is now reduced to very bad conditions due to the time that has passed but, above all, due to the fishing boats that cause continuous hooks with their trawl nets and then, in an attempt to recover them, cause further damage to the structure of the tug; the wreck is in fact almost completely surrounded by fishing nets. As you can see from the video, the seabed on which it is located is a muddy seabed and a few movements by the diver are enough to lift the mud and make visibility poor; therefore considerable experience is required to avoid accidents and dive in complete safety.
Phyllorhiza punctata, also known as the floating bell, Australian spotted jellyfish, brown jellyfish or the white-spotted jellyfish, is a species of jellyfish belongs to the Rhizostomatidae Family and the genus Phyllorhiza. The species has been found in the waters off the Mediterranean Sea since at least 1965. While it is not known how it was introduced to these regions, it has been theorized that budding polyps may have attached themselves to ships, or were carried in a ship's ballast tank which was subsequently dumped.
Salema - Salpa sarpa - is one of the most common and easiest to meet Sparidae species in Mediterranean Sea. It is a gregarious fish that lives in held of even numerous individuals. In this video we see it in various conditions and habitats that it shares together with other spawners such as Seabreams, but also together with predators such as Sea bass ...
The Mediterranean Parrotfish (Sparisoma cretense) is a species of parrotfish found at depths up to 50 m along rocky shores in the Mediterranean and the eastern Atlantic, from Portugal south to Senegal. It is generally common, but uncommon or rare (locally even absent) in the northwestern Mediterranean and in the Adriatic Sea. It prefers relatively warm temperatures and there is an ongoing northward range expansion, probably because of global warming. The primary adult habitat is rocky reefs, especially in areas with macroalgae, but they may visit adjacent seagrass patches. Juveniles also occur more widely in the latter habitat.
This video was shot between the reefs of the island of Pantelleria in the Sicily Channel. In this stretch of sea it is easy to meet parrot fish because the climatic conditions of the sea make it their favorite habitat. The females of Sparisoma cretense are very showy due to the beautiful colors of the livery and because, unlike the males, they are less shy and therefore move us between the reefs with more ease and it is easier to meet them while snorkeling.
Bolinus brandaris (originally called Murex brandaris by Linnaeus and also Haustellum brandaris), and commonly known as the purple dye murex or the spiny dye-murex, is a species of medium-sized predatory sea snail, an edible marine gastropod mollusk in the Muricidae family, the murex snails or the rock snails. This species is known in the fossil record from the Pilocene (age range: from 3.6 to 2.588 million years ago). Fossil shells of this species have been found in Cyprus, Spain and Italy. It was used by the Phoenicians in ancient times to extract imperial Tyrian purple dye.
Boops boops commonly called the bogue, is a species of seabream native to the eastern Atlantic. Its common name in most languages refers to its large ("bug") eyes. A demeral and semi-pelagic, it can generally be found at a depth of 100 m, and infrequently down to 350 m. The Bogue reaches a maximum length of 30 cm. and a weight that can reach half a kilogram. Its color ranges from silvery green on the back to white on the belly. The fins have the same color as the back except the ventral ones which are white. On the side it has a dark lateral line under which we find four or five lateral lines of a beautiful golden color.
In this dive we met one of the many nudibranchs (sea snails) that populate our sea, Peltodoris atromaculata - Dotted sea slug very similar to the Jorunna funebris (Dotted nudibranch), also called Sea cow or Leopard snail. Peltodoris atromaculata Dotted sea slug Vacchetta di mare intotheblue.it ...
Amphiprion nigripes (Maldive Anemonefish or blackfinned anemonefish), is a marinefish belonging to the family Pomacentridae, which includes clownfishes and damselfishes. The Maldive anemonefish is a small fish which grows up to 11 cm as a female and 8 cm as a male. It is oval-bodied and laterally compressed.
The Raccoon Butterflyfish (Chaetodon lunula), also known as the crescent-masked butterflyfish, lunule butterflyfish, halfmoon butterflyfish, moon butterflyfish, raccoon butterfly, raccoon, raccoon coralfish, and redstriped butterflyfish, is a species of marine ray-finned, a butterflyfish belonging to the family Chaetodontidae. It is found in the Indian and Pacific Oceans.