Critters of the Anilao Sea

A Pygmy Seahorse, Hippocampus bargibanti, camouflages itself among the polyps of a Gorgonian sea fan colony, the host which it has evolved to live on through out adult life.

A crab, Lissocarcinus sp. takes shelter within elongated polyps of a soft coral colony.

A false clownfish, Amphiprion ocellaris hides among tentacles of a sea anemone, which has stinging cells called nematocysts. These two species from different Phylums form a symbiotic relationship, which the clownfish gains protection from predators, while the anemone received maintenance services from the clownfish.

A close up view of the polyp of a Mushroom coral, Fungia sp. in the coral reef of Anilao, Philippines.

Tassled scorpionfish, Scorpaenopsis oxycephala, an ambush predator from the family Scorpaenidae, which can inflict intense pain to the unsuspecting victim if stepped upon from the potent venom contained in its spines.

A pair of Blue swimmer crab, Portunus pelagicus, mates during the night, while buried themselves in the muck of Anilao.

A Coconut Octopus, Amphioctopus marginatus exhibits deimatic behaviour, a threat displays to distract predator, giving its opportunity to escape.

A yellow pygmy goby, Lubricogobius exiguous in a beer bottle found in the vast empty field of muck in the Secret Bay of Anilao. Human litters in the muck provide shelters for these tiny small critters to hide from predators.

Venomous spines and colourful pattern of a Zebra Lionfish, Dendrochirus zebra, which it fish rely on for protection.

A female Peacock Mantis Shrimp, Odontodactylus scyllarus carries a mass of eggs on its thoracic appendages. The female cares for the eggs in its burrow, while cease feeding completely until the eggs hatch.

A Commensal Shrimp, Allopontonia iaina lives among the venomous spines a colourful Fire Urchin Asthenosoma varium.

A Whitemargin Stargazer, Uranoscopus sulphureus, an ambush predator hides itself under the dark muck, waiting for an unsuspecting prey.

Among the vast sandy muck of a little port town of the Phillippines, a large diversity of small marine life can be encountered under the sea of Anilao.