Field Notes: Prepare for cuteness overload!

Here is a set of adorable (non stomatopod) animals that I have come across here at Lizard Island. I know, only two are arthropods, and I don’t usually like to post about cephalopods that aren’t being bludgeoned to death by mantis shrimp, but these are still really cute/awesome animals.

A baby blenny that rode our salt water system into the aquaria facility. Luckily he dropped into a cleaner wrasse tank, and not one of my mantis shrimp tanks.

A swimming isopod, caught at night. Many pelagic nocturnal creatures are attracted to light, so we bring them in with dive lights and scoop then up with fine mesh nets.

One of the thousands of small skinks around the station.

A baby cephalopod caught during a night dive. It is about a centimeter in size a is disgustingly adorable. Squeee! Check out the chromatophores and iridophores.

Finally, an ant that I found chugging the ink out of my fountain pen for over an hour last night. Its abdomen is usually brown, but has turned dark black as it filled with ink. Eventually she just wandered off, to a fate unknown. You may also notice some raw SCIENCE! in the background.


  1. Luisa says:

    I squee’d. I want a baby cephalopod of my very own now. [He shall be my Squishy…]

    Weird about the ant.

  2. Michael Bok says:

    Turns out the ceph is actually a fully grown bobtail squid.

  3. Paul says:

    Wow, that ceph’s full grown? That surprises me. Adorable lil bugger.

  4. Sarah Clough says:

    Ooh, that isopod photo reminds me of a little bug I photographed not knowing what it was, any ideas? In the UK, in-between a wheat field and a wood, no obvious water around.


  5. Pete Peterson says:

    The ant is a he? I thought all but the drones were female. I know that some termites have huge numbers of both genders taking off on mating flights to start new colonies, but after the mating all of the workers are female. I think the same is true of ants.

    1. Michael Bok says:

      You are correct, I misspoke.

  6. Paul says:

    Sarah, your bug in question appears to be some sort of leafhopper nymph.

    Related to the ant … There was a gent who was doing some sort of ant experiment in which he had sugar solutions of different colors (bright green, blue, yellow, etc). I can’t remember what prompted him to do this nor what the results were, but he wound up with colorful assortment of ants as the bright dyes were very visible through the ants’ abdomens.