Threadfin jack juvenile

Threadfin Jack JuvenileThis week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Fake.’ See more responses here. I don’t really have many photos that fit this bill, but this one does. This exotic-looking little fish is a juvenile threadfin jack. This is a fish that will grow up to become large and blocky, living in deep water and rarely seen by snorkelers of divers.

But as a juvenile, while still not often seen, it hangs around in shallow waters towing this extraordinary array of filaments. The theory is that the filaments make it look like a jellyfish and thus much less appetizing to predators. The fish will putter along, then throw in a few moves that make the filaments ripple. The first time I saw one doing this, I thought it was a jellyfish. It faked me out, which is exactly the point.

Usually, each year I see one, two, or even three of these juveniles in my local snorkeling bay, but this year I haven’t seen any or heard of them being spotted by anyone else. Not sure why this is. The water has tended to be murkier than is usual in the summer, but otherwise not much has changed. May and June is the usual time to see them, but I have seen them as late as September, so there’s still time. (This photo is taken from a previous year.)

I hope one or two do show up. Seeing them is one of the highlights of the snorkeling year for me.

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