Peacock groupers

Peacock groupers are easily identified by their iridescent blue spots and, in larger specimens, lighter vertical bars toward the tail. They tend to be skittish fish, diving for cover when anything approaches. But these two were in an area where fishing is prohibited and I’ve noticed that the fish in these areas have figured out they don’t have to worry about people in the water (probably a big mistake).

Another trait of peacock groupers is that they will often hunt with eels and octopuses. That’s what these two were doing on this day. On the right of the photo, the tail of the eel can be seen sticking out from whatever cranny the eel was disappearing into.

But the thing I like best about this photo is the fish just above the head of the top peacock grouper. Not much can be seen of it except for two white areas that look like a mischievous grin. I suspect that these white spots are the bill of a large parrotfish, but I was never able to get enough of a look to be sure.

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