Travelfish contributions by NickHope
The first number represents the total number of published reviews by NickHope. The bracketed figure is submitted reviews -- reviews may not be published for editorial reasons or may be removed because the property concerned has been delisted from Travelfish or has closed.
Travel map for NickHope
Life according to NickHope
An English filmmaker based in Bangkok. Mostly underwater.
Scuba diving trips to the Similan Islands, Gulf of Thailand, Burma, North Sulawesi, Bali and Malaysia.
Boonsung wreck off Khao Lak, then Anilao in the Philippines.
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Stiliger sp.. A new species of sea slug?I was in the Lembeh...
Published 1:24 am, 9 Aug 2015
Stiliger sp.. A new species of sea slug?
I was in the Lembeh Strait in Indonesia recently, shooting macro video of tiny skeleton shrimps on a green algae stalk, when my dive guide Mamang and I noticed a small sea slug next to them.
This is a sacoglossan, a herbivorous animal commonly known as a sap-sucking slug. It pierces the algae and sucks out the sap from the cells.
Those large, clear appendages on the back are called the cerata, or kerata, and the green ducts are branches of its digestive gland. If you look closely you can see material travelling up and down those green ducts.
It’s possible this is a solar-powered slug. Some sacoglossans keep chloroplasts from the algae alive in their body, where they continue to photosynthesize the sun’s energy into sugars, a phenomenon known as kleptoplasty.
On the head you can see two black primitive eye spots, and a long pair of sensory stalks known as rhinophores. It looks like it’s lost part of one of them. You can even see branches of the digestive gland in the head.
At first I expected this would be a known species of sea slug, but I’ve been unable to find any match, and I’m now told that it’s probably a new species in the Stiliger genus. There are a few other species of Stiliger that have been observed in the field but not described and named.
It wouldn’t be possible for scientists to officially designate this as a new species without examining samples. The form of the radular teeth for example is important in differentiating between species, and DNA testing is becoming increasingly important.
This specimen was at the dive site Jahir at a depth of 10 metres. It was just a few millimetres long. I’d love to hear from you if you believe this is a known species.
I shot this footage at while diving with YOS Dive Lembeh - Eco Beach Resort (http://yosdivelembeh.com/). Thanks to my dive guide and critter spotter Mamang.
The video was shot by Nick Hope with a Panasonic GH4 in a Nauticam NA-GH4 housing. I used an Olympus M.Zuiko ED 60mm f2.8 macro lens and a Nauticam CMC.
I’m delighted to announce that my 3rd DVD, Mucky Secrets -...
Published 1:57 am, 1 Apr 2015
I’m delighted to announce that my 3rd DVD, Mucky Secrets - The Marine Creatures of the Lembeh Strait, is finally available at http://www.bubblevision.com/underwater-videos/Lembeh/Mucky-Secrets.htm
I worked really hard to make this as good as it could be, and I’m very happy with the result. There are interactive menus and subtitle tracks of either my narration, or the names of the species and dive sites.
Besides the prologue video and the main feature, I also found space to include my older 19-minute Lembeh video as a bonus feature.
This version nearly didn’t happen, but I got a few requests, and there’s a small ongoing market for DVDs, so I pulled my finger out and got it made.
Really pleased with the result, and I now feel like I have a little collection, rather than just a couple of DVDs.
A pair of saddleback clownfish (Amphiprion polymnus), also known...
Published 12:27 pm, 7 Mar 2015
A pair of saddleback clownfish (Amphiprion polymnus), also known as saddleback anemonefish, tend to their eggs at the dive site Bethlehem, between Caban Island and Marcaban Island near Anilao, Batangas, the Philippines.
Clownfish eggs are laid in a roughly circular patch stuck securely to the reef next to or slightly under the host sea anemone. The female lays the eggs and the male fertilizes them afterwards.
The parents continuously aerate the eggs with their mouths and fins to keep them oxygenated and clean as they grow. Any unhealthy eggs are picked off by the parents. The smaller male clownfish tends to do more of the work while the larger female parent defends the nest and her mate.
The eggs hatch in 7 to 10 days. As they develop the eyes become relatively large compared to the body. These eggs are quite mature and the larval clownfish babies probably hatch from the nest that night.
In the film Finding Nemo, the characters were intended to be a slightly different species: ocellaris clownfish, Amphiprion ocellaris, otherwise known as clown anemonefish.
The sea anemone in this footage is a Haddon’s carpet anemone, Stichodactyla haddoni.
I shot this with a Panasonic GH4 in a Nauticam NA-GH4 housing. I used an Olympus M.Zuiko ED 12-50mm f3.5-6.3 EZ lens.
The fire urchin, Asthenosoma varium, is a dangerous sea urchin....
Published 8:32 am, 3 Mar 2015
The fire urchin, Asthenosoma varium, is a dangerous sea urchin. It is characterized by a fiery coloration and by globular swellings beneath the tips of it’s thousands of venomous spines. It can infict a very painful sting.
Various crustaceans form commensal relationships with the fire urchin to protect themselves from predators. Coleman shrimps, Periclimenes colemani, usual live in pairs on top of the fire urchin. The female is larger than the male. Zebra crabs, Zebrida adamsii, and urchin shrimps, Allopontonia brockii, are often found near the bottom of fire urchin. They feed on organic matter on the substrate as the sea urchin moves. This type of symbiotic relationship benefits the shrimps and crabs but not the host urchin.
Shot in Anilao, The Philippines, with my Panasonic GH4.
Just keep swimming!On a dive at Balanoy, otherwise known as...
Published 8:24 am, 9 Feb 2015
Just keep swimming!
On a dive at Balanoy, otherwise known as “Secret Garden”, in Anilao, The Philippines, dive guide Obet spotted a school of young saddleback clownfish, Amphiprion polymnus, in the shallows, fighting against the current.
This is the first video I have published that was shot with my new Panasonic GH4 camera in Nauticam housing. I was using the Olympus 12-50mm f/3.5-6.3 ED M.Zuiko EZ lens which has a macro mode for the close-up shots.