Here is a collection of critter shots from Lizard Island last field season.
Mantis shrimp larva, Lysiosquillina maculata. This penultimate larva is about ready to molt into its post-larval juvenile form, and is starting to look a bit like a mantis shrimp. The adult eyes are developing alongside the degenerating larval retina, and the raptorial appendages are visible. Like the majority of mantis shrimp larvae we catch, this individual was lured in with a dive light and scooped up with a fine net.
Another species of mantis shrimp larva, Alima pacifica. This animal is the largest mantis shrimp larva I have seen.
A juvenile Zebra Lionfish, Dendrochirus zebra.
I wonder why they call it Lizard Island? The island is in fact named after the omnipresent monitor lizards, Varanus gouldii. It was named so by Captain Cook in 1770, who stopped at the island in order to get a better view of the outer barrier and chart his course out. The summit of Lizard Island is called Cook’s Look.
Some sort of bumblebee shrimp. This adorable female turned out to be carrying a lot of eggs and soon hatched out a number of larvae.