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Wild sex, spawning and Pink Leaf Scorpions

Discussion in 'Taiwan' started by Wantonmien, Apr 27, 2011.

  1. Wantonmien

    Wantonmien Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Philippines (Ex Taiwan & Oz)
    1,777
    201
    63
    Hi all,

    Had a round trip from Taipei to Kenting weekend 23/24 April just gone, to take 4 boat dives, Saturday with a visiting expat group from South Korea, and on Sunday with a buddy and guided by Andy with another 2 divers - thought I'd share a few words and pics.

    Weather
    Still slow in getting to be summer in Taiwan, and the water seeming to take a long time to warm up, but it was a comfortable 26C at surface and no less than 24C down around 30m. Back on boat grey skies and very little sun made it warmer in the water !

    Visibility
    Didn't know before visit but the time of year and conditions meant it was wild carefree sex sessions - with coral spawning time, so on a couple of dives you could almost see a cloud of 'seed' hanging over some of the fantastic soft coral gardens. Kind of made taking flash photos a little difficult with the water full of 'seed' but of course good to know the spawning was going on to keep the corals plentiful. Visibility, I'd say over the 4 dives ranging from say 8m to 15m at most.

    Dive sites
    Independent Rocks - always one of my favourite sites, plenty of life, fan corals, whip corals, large groupers, very large mantis shrimp, moorish idols, morays, couple of sea snakes, and seemingly all Nudi's in pairs engaged in wild sex sessions !!

    Drift (can't remember name) closer to the shore, lost the group and just buddy and I wandered through the good rock formations, spoting numerous lobsters, razorfish, more Nudi's in pairs ... !! ... and though looking over the sandy flats for Blue spotted rays that normally hang out there, :depressed: no sightings this time, albeit others in the group did. The current - well, on entry we'd anticipated a drift dive but must have been turn of the tide as no current.

    Showlowgu - Deep wall, great spiral/whip corals, large Octopus that quickly slithered down slope to hide and wait for me to go, scorpion fish, lions, moorish idols, trumpet fish, more Nudi's in pairs and in their sex sessions - and all round a good dive, with plenty of life.

    Outlet Ravine/Gulley - First time on this site for me, and of the 140 or so dives I've logged to date in various places, have to say this dive is in my top ten - nothing 'too special' about it, but just an enjoyable dive. From around 10m depth, enter and down into a narrow gulley to about 16m depth - and in the long gulley, small caves, nooks and crannies, life everywhere. A large gathering of soldier fish, more Nudi's in wild sex sessions, colourful flatworms, pipefish, spotted anthias - and at top of gulley a wide beautiful soft coral garden. And just before heading out, Andy (Gray) called us over to show us his find - a dazzling almost flourescent Pink Leaf Scorpion fish - sitting posing, and seemingly a very rare site.

    A few photos below, and a few more posted in ScubaBoard Gallery - Kenting, South Taiwan - 2011 04 23 & 24 Dives

    Cheers

    [​IMG]
    Wild sex sessions !

    [​IMG]
    Seemingly all in pairs !

    [​IMG]
    Flatworm

    [​IMG]
    Thanks to a wet lense and macro, this nudi at most 10mm long

    [​IMG]
    I still find the colours excellent.

    [​IMG]
    How a strobe light can really make the teeth dazzling :rofl3:

    [​IMG]
    Scorpions always look moody !

    [​IMG]
    No idea of the name - but was amazed seeing this guy swimming !

    [​IMG]
    A little over exposed - but posting as can see the amount of coral spawn in the water, making clear macros hard to take !

    - and finally the star of the show, and seen just before end of last dive -
    [​IMG]
    Pink Leaf Scorpion Fish - kind of colourful !

    and a little closer -
    [​IMG]
     
    FritzCat66 and Quero like this.
  2. drrich2

    drrich2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
    7,999
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    Love the shots. That pink-leaf scorpion fish (which I'd never heard of) is like a rose! Love the nudibranchs, especially the second.

    Richard.
     
  3. Makhno

    Makhno Divemaster

    363
    103
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    Was it Maobitou (Mow bee toe) by any chance? At the southwestern corner of the same bay as Independent Rock, Xiao Lao Gu, etc.? The first couple times I dived there, I wasn't too impressed. But then I did a drift dive there a few weeks ago and the marine life was really excellent. Looking forward to going back again.

    Nice photos BTW.
     
  4. Wantonmien

    Wantonmien Loggerhead Turtle

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Philippines (Ex Taiwan & Oz)
    1,777
    201
    63
    drrich2 - must admit my fish ID book gives a pink leaf fish - but with different appearance, and scorpion fish of all colours but not looking quite the same. I was given the name, and maybe it's known as something else ?

    Makhno - Maobitou, that's the one, far corner of bay, single large rock jutting from water and area opening out to the sand flats. Of the 4 weekend dives it was the one with least happening, but still good. Last time I dived it was late 2009 - when it was the start of a fast drift dive seeing plenty of rays.

    Didn't get to dive the new wreck, but maybe next time.

    Cheers
     

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