Diving Shelly Beach again!

After a 13 month absence, travelling the beautiful country, I jumped into the water at Cabbage Tree Bay again with dive buddy Peter.

The welcoming party made me wish I had brought a camera as we found a weedy sea dragon, Shelly the green turtle with a radio transmitter, parrot fish, a gaimard wrasse, a big bull ray, and the following day three juvenile pipefish, yellow finned damsel, eastern frogfish, and juvenile weed fish hiding in seaweed fragments drifting around the bay. Wobbegong sharks are in abundance to celebrate their mating season, with barely a rock unoccupied where they can squeeze under.

The weedy sea dragon was great news as the local population just disappeared overnight about 4-5 years ago now and they are seldom seen these days. Hopefully this is a sign of a comeback in the population.

Chrysiptera flavipinnis

Yellow-finned damsel (Chrysiptera flavipinnis)

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Ruby Sea-dragon – new species

I just read of a new species of sea dragon that has been found in WA, where I currently am. Very similar to the weedy seadragon it has been found from DNA testing on museum specimens (the last collected in 2007) to be sufficiently different to be called a new species. Found at much deeper depths than weedy seadragons, with distinct red colouration, it is the first new seadragon to be found in over 100 years.

Read full details here http://rsos.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/2/2/140458