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It's a marine benthos, inhabiting sand or under stone. Adults are long and slender, grotesque. However, some larvae are beautiful like this picture, and they are floating.


Stunning Underwater Photos Explore the Secret Life of Plankton

Ryo Minemizu's images capture in meticulous detail the startling beauty of the tiny living things that drift in our planet's oceans.

Aglaura hemistoma is very small jellyfish and umbrella diameter is no more than about 4mm.

Plankton is not a species. It's a collective name for all the tiny marine and freshwater life that exist in a floating state. Too small or weak to fight the currents, they drift where the water takes them. 

Apart from bacteria, these plants, animals, and other types of organisms are the most abundant life form on Earth and play a critical role in the marine food chain. 

Above: Aglaura hemistoma, a very small jellyfish that's no more than about 4 millimeters in diameter.

Ryo Minemizu
Larva of Limidae. Limidae is a bivalve that lives hiding behind rocks, therfore scarcely escape notice. Such a beautiful figure appears,may be for only a few hours when the larvae are floating.

To create his photographs, Minemizu spends about eight hours a day underwater, drifting and waiting for the right moment to press the shutter. He shoots during the day and night using a lighting system he developed to highlight the vivid colors and fantastic shapes of plankton as small as 2 millimeters. 

Above: Larva of Limidae, a bivalve mollusk.

Ryo Minemizu
Larval fish of Arnoglossus yamanakai. Arnoglossus yamanakai is a kind of family Bothidae.

The sunlit upper layers of the ocean, the epipelagic zone, are home to many young fish that will live at greater depths when they are adults. This zone is like a cradle for the plankton where they are constantly nurtured and fed.

Above: A larval fish of Arnoglossus yamanakai. 

Ryo Minemizu
This is larval fish of Cusk-eels. Size about 50 mm. in Kume-Island, Okinawa Japan.

A larval cusk-eel fish. Adult cusk-eels live near the seabed.

Ryo Minemizu
A flying fish with a fin like a wing of a bird. That juvinile gathered in the sea of the night and start hunting in front of the light. Beard shaped organ have only to juvenile.

A larval flying fish. 

Ryo Minemizu
This octopus larva is maybe of Ocythoe tuberculata. Ocythoe tuberculata is a kind of planktonic octopus. It's can be seen with various large type of salpas.

An octopus larva surrounded by various types of salpa (translucent, floating animals found in warm water).

Ryo Minemizu
That octopus comes when the night advances.
Also one by one will increase, and swim while extending long arms.

A larval long arm octopus.

Ryo Minemizu
It's a marine benthos, inhabiting sand or under stone. Adults are long and slender, grotesque. However, some larvae are beautiful like this picture, and they are floating.

Larva of a sipunculid worm. Adults are long, slender, live on the ocean floor, and, according to Minemizu, are "grotesque."

Ryo Minemizu
I took photos at sea of night in Ogasawara Islands. This is a Juvenile fish of Trachipterus trachypterus. Body length still about 150 mm. Adult fish lives in mesopelagic, and the body length reaches 2700 mm.

This juvenile Trachipterus trachypterus fish is about 6 inches long. Adults of the species can be 9 feet in length.

Ryo Minemizu
This is a paralarva of Thysanoteuthis rhombus. It was taken in the Ogasawara Islands. It has transparent body and do the very unique pose that along the arm on top of the mantle. Adult live in Mesopelagic.

A paralarva of Thysanoteuthis rhombus.

Ryo Minemizu
Larval fish of Champsodon snyderi : Champsodontidae. There is a pair of skin flap at the top of the gill, It's looks like a angel's raiment.

A young fish of Champsodon snyderi. 

The fish turns black as it becomes an adult and sinks into the shallow sand of the seabed. 

Ryo Minemizu
This is planktonic larvae the Anemone. It is called Cerinula larva. Family is kind of Cerianthidae.

Planktonic larva of a sea anemone. 

Ryo Minemizu
The Ribbon fish is one of the typical mesopelagic fish. Adult is about 1 m in body length. This is still Juvenile fish, the body length is about 60 mm. larval fish and Juvenile fish live in epipelagic, it appears sometimes at close to shore.

A juvenile ribbon fish, about 2.5 inches in length. Adults are more than 3 feet long.

Ryo Minemizu
This zoea is one's Lyreidus that is a species of crab in the family Raninidae. It's looks as if mosquito.

A larval crab has long spines sticking out of its body. 

"The Secret World of Plankton" will be on display at Foto Care in New York City from June 21 -24. For information on the opening reception, click here

For information on Ryo Minemizu's free photography workshop at Foto Care on June 22, click here


Ryo Minemizu