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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Sea Things #27: Whip Coral Goby

Sea Things is a regular feature on my blog where I profile a different sea creature. Look for it weekly, or something close to weekly.

These little guys are also called by their scientific name, Bryaninops yongei. They are small, only growing to a max of 3 centimeters long. They're found in the Pacific Ocean, and we saw this one in Hawaii. They live on Whip Corals - which are just these stalks that stick up out of the reef, and are each a few feet long. Just one little guy per coral piece, and if it's a bigger piece of coral, there might be a male and a female both on the same one. They're monogamous - they don't leave the coral, so I guess they just hang out together. They can change sex, so if a second Goby settles on a whip coral, it might change sex so that it will have a matched pair. How convenient!

Like other macro fishes (such as the Yellowhead Jawfish), it often blows my mind that these little creatures exist, and live their whole lives just on this whip coral. They never leave, they never know anything other than that coral.

I couldn't find any information about what they eat, and there isn't a diver sign for them. They are just interesting little creatures.

Do you like the weekly Sea Things? Want to see more? Want to have these lovely images in your home, keeping track of your important dates? If so, check out the 2010 Calendar Sale.

Is there a creature that you would like to see featured in Sea Things? If so, shoot me an email and if I can, I'll write about it. Photos on this post are courtesy of Todd Krebs.

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