Category Archives: Fish

Bicolor Chub

A Bicolor chub in the waters off Hawaii

The Bicolor Chub is one of several chubs here, but the only one endemic to Hawaii. While it has a lot of similarities to the Gray Chub, the two-tone coloring makes it easy to identify. Some Bicolor Chubs are dark at the back and light at the front. This one also has the dark top to its head and face. Some of them also have dark backs so that the only light part is the belly area.

Dwarf Moray Eel hunting

A dwarf moray eel swimming in the waters off Hawaii

I was snorkeling recently when I saw this Dwarf Moray Eel hunting with a small Saddle Wrasse. It promptly disappeared under a rock and I didn’t expect to see it again. But I was in no hurry, so moved away a bit and kept watch. After a while the eel poked its head out, hesitated, then swam out.

I snapped these two photos, the first as it emerged and the second as it disappeared again. I like how, in the top photo, the eel oozes out of a hole no bigger around than it is, which is less than an inch! These small eels typically are less than a foot long.

A dwarf moray eel swimming in the waters off Hawaii

Going down

Steps lead into the water at Kawaihae Hawaii

These robust steps lead into the water at the small park between the Port of Kawaihae and its small boat harbor. They’re nice and wide so surfers can get in and out on their way to the surf break in the vicinity. I was hoping that a large shape might pass by the steps, which is not unreasonable since there are a lot of sharks in this area.

Wedgetail Triggerfish

The wedgetail triggerfish is the state fish of Hawaii

This is the state fish of Hawaii and while its official name is straightforward, in Hawaii it’s called the Humuhumu-nukunuku-ā-pua’a, which is actually easier to pronounce than it looks.

The fish is also known as the Picasso Triggerfish, a reference to its bold colors and markings.

Hawaiian Gregory

An endemic Hawaiian Gregory in the waters off Hawaii

This endemic damselfish is mostly black or brown with a mottled distribution of light and dark scales, but it’s easily identified by its yellow eyes. It eats filamentous algae and is said to ‘farm’ the algae in its territory, which it defends vigorously against other algae-eaters after its crop.

Convict Tangs and a Surge Wrasse

A surge wrasse swims in front of a school of convict tangs in the waters off Hawaii

I was photographing this school of Convict Tangs when I saw this initial phase Surge Wrasse swimming in the opposite direction. This is not a fish I see too often and it’s one which my fish book describes as ‘one of the most difficult Hawaiian fish to photograph.’ I think this is because of its scarcity and it’s tendency to spend a lot of its time close to shore in shallow, surging water.