We met the Dash-and-dot goatfish Parupeneus barberinus in Mediterranean 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.
During a holiday on the island of Crete we went to the nearby island of Gramvousa starting from the port of Kissamos. The passion for underwater video shooting brought us to this place with white sandy beaches, wild and rocky but with a crystal clear sea typical of the Mediterranean. We knew that there is the rusty wreck of ship wreck “DIMITRIOS P” on the island but we did not know the reason for the sinking.
The Humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus) is a large species of wrasse mainly found on coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific region. It is also known as the Māori wrasse, Napoleon wrasse, Napoleon fish, Napoleonfish. The humphead wrasse is the largest living member of the family Labridae. Males, typically larger than females, are capable of reaching up to 2 meters and weighing up to 180 kg, but the average length is a little less than 1 meter. Females rarely grow larger than one meter.
The Blacktip reef Shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus) is a species of requiem shark, in the family Carcharhinidae, which can be easily identified by the prominent black tips on its fins (especially on the first dorsal fin and its caudal fin). Among the most abundant sharks inhabiting the tropical coral reefs of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, this species prefers shallow, inshore waters. Its exposed first dorsal fin is a common sight in the region. The blacktip reef shark is usually found over reef ledges and sandy flats, though it has also been known to enter brakish and freshwater environments.
The Lagoon triggerfish (Rhinecanthus aculeatus), also known as the blackbar Triggerfish, the Picasso triggerfish, or the Picassofish, is a triggerfish, up to 30 cm in length, found on reefs in the Indo-Pacific region. This species has been studied in a range of research contexts, from locomotion to color vision research. Lagoon triggerfish live in the reefs and sandy areas of coral reefs, where they eat just about anything that comes along, mostly including invertebrates and reef algae.
Spondylus gaederopus is a species of marine bivalve mollusc, a thorny oyster in the family Spondylidae. This species is endemic to the Mediterranean Sea. Spondylus gaederopus attaches itself to the substrate with its lower valve, which is usually white, while the upper valve is usually purple. Specimens that are all white, or all purple do, however, exist.
The Clown Triggerfish (Balistoides conspicillum), also known as the Bigspotted Triggerfish, is a demersal marine fish belonging to the family Balistidae, or commonly called triggerfish. The Clown Triggerfish is a fish which grows up to 50 cm. Its body has a stocky appearance, oval shape and compressed laterally. The head is large and represents approximately one third of the body length. The mouth is small, terminal and has strong teeth. The Clown Triggerfish is widely distributed throughout the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian Ocean and in the western Pacific Ocean.
The Pagurus belongs to the Paguridae family. Hermit crabs are crustaceans with a curved and soft abdomen. It lives in empty shells of gastropods on which it sometimes attacks sponges or poisonous actinias to camouflage and defend itself. In case of danger it can withdraw completely inside the shell. The end of the tail of the hermit crab is suitable for strongly grasping the shell it always carries with it. When it grows and the size of the shell is no longer suitable is search for a new shell to protect yourself. In the video we see a hermit crab that has taken possession of the shell of the sea snail Phalium glaucum, a marine gastropod mollusc of the Cassidae family
The Indian Triggerfish (Melichthys indicus), also known as the black-finned Triggerfish, has a brown body and black fins with white lines at the base of the dossal and anal fins. It is found across the Indian Ocean. They can grow up to 25 cm. long. The Indian triggerfish usually feeds on hard-shelled mollusks and echinoderms, but some feed on algae and zooplankton.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Purple Starfish, is a species of starfish from the East Atlantic (from mainland Portugal and the Azores down to the Gulf of Guinea) and the Mediterranean Sea. It has a big variation in colour (from red to orange) and may present brown spots. The central disc is small, covered by irregular plates, and the arms are thinner near the central disc. Each arm has lines of respiratory papillae. It can reach 40 cm in diameter.
They are often hot springs rich in mineral salts with varying temperatures. These thermal waters originate from the groundwater which, descending in depth, meet the hot rocks or are due to the condensation of the steam generated by the encounter of the water with the hot rocks.
The Spotted sea hare, Aplysia dactylomela, is a species of large sea slug, a marine opisthobranch gastropod in the family Aplysiidae, the sea hares. As traditionally defined, this species of sea hare was cosmopolitan, being found in almost all tropical and warm temperate seas, including the Mediterranean Sea where first seen in 2002 and likely self-established due to increasing temperatures.
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.
Hermodice carunculata, the bearded fireworm, is a type of marine bristleworm belonging to the Amphinomidae family, native to the tropical Atlantic Ocean and the Mediterranean Sea. Bearded fireworms are usually 15 centimetres in average length, but can reach up to 30 centimetres. The bearded fireworm is a slow creature, and is not considered a threat to humans unless touched by careless swimmers. The bristles, when flared, can penetrate human skin, injecting a powerful neurotoxin and producing intense irritation and a painful burning sensation around the area of contact.
Pantelleria is an Italian island and comune in the Strait of Sicily in the Mediterranean Sea, 100 km southwest of Sicily and 60 km east of the Tunisian coast. On clear days Tunisia is visible from the island. Administratively Pantelleria's comune belongs to the Sicilian province of Trapani.
Cephalopholis argus, also known as roi, bluespotted grouper, and celestial grouper, is a fish from the Indo-Pacific which is variously a commercial gamefish, an invasiv species, and occasionally an aquarium resident.
Red Lionfish (Pterois volitans) is a fish venomous who live coral reef in the family Scorpaenidae, order Scorpaeniformes. Pterois volitansis natively found in the Indo-Pacific region, but has become an invasive problem in the Carribbean Sea ...
Yellowtail Clownfish (Amphiprion clarkii), known commonly as Clark's anemonefish, is a marine fish belonging to the family Pomacentridae, the clownfishes and damselfishes. ...