Tag Archives: Blennies

Spotted coral blenny

Blennies are the kind of fish that it’s hard not to like. They always appear to be smiling and their willingness to stay put when being observed is appreciated. This one is a female and its behavior is typical of spotted coral blennies in Hawaii. Here, they often sit out in the open, but elsewhere in the Pacific, they almost always shelter in branches of coral.

Posted in response to Becky’s October Squares challenge theme of ‘Kind.’ See more responses here. Also posted in response to this week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme of ‘Smiles.’ See more responses here.

Yesterday’s swim

A small shoal of convict tang feeding.
I think this is a spotted coral blenny on a head of purple cauliflower coral, and possibly a small trumpetfish.

This is a second response to this week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme of ‘Waterworld.’ (See more responses here.) Yesterday, I posted about the movie Waterworld. Today, it’s a probably more expected response.

These are photos I took during my swim yesterday. Visibility in the water was patchy with some good areas and some not so good. I didn’t see anything startling, though the mackerel shads aren’t a common sight. Last time I saw such a shoal there was a great barracuda lurking on the other side. I looked around and, sure enough, there was another one looking interested as it cruised low down, too low for a decent photo.

The other oddity was in the photo at left. I saw what I think is a spotted coral blenny on this patch of cauliflower coral, and snapped a quick photo before it took off. But it was only when I processed the photos that I saw something else, to the left and slightly below the blenny. I think it’s a small trumpetfish, but it could be something else. A lot of small fish and other creatures hide in coral heads so I must pay more attention from here on.

In short, it was a fairly typical swim.

A shoal of mackerel scad on the left with yellow tang on the right.
Little fish enjoy the comparative safety of the shallow water in the surge zone.
On the left, a fourspot butterflyfish and a cushion star. On the right, black triggerfish are cleaned by a Hawaiian cleaner wrasse.
Just before getting out I saw this small Pacific trumpetfish with goldring surgeonfishes.

Hawaiian zebra blennies and padina japonica

Hawaiian Zebra blennies and Padina japonica

A few weeks ago, I posted a photo of a dead blenny floating in a tide pool filled with ‘delicate creamy shells.’ Recently, I returned to that area and I realized that the creamy shells were not shells, but something growing.

It turns out they’re a kind of seaweed, padina japonica, which both surprised and delighted me, since I think of seaweed as being stringy and brown. I learn something every day.

To celebrate, I went back and took some more photos, including these two Hawaiian zebra blennies, both very much alive, and both as delightful as the seaweed, with their little blue dots under the eyes and those oh-so-charming expressions.

Thanks to Jeanne at http://hawaiinaturejournal.weebly.com/ for help with the padina japonica identification.

Hawaiian Zebra blennies with Padina japonica

Better Days: Dead blenny

Better Days-Dead Blenny

Exploring tide pools one day, I found this unfortunate floating blenny. It was quite large, for a blenny, and in a small pool. The weather had been calm for a few days, without much ocean swell. I think the fish was trapped in the pool and, without fresh seawater reaching it, the pool had become stale and oxygen starved.

The macabre essence of the scene contrasted with its painterly quality, enhanced by the blenny’s coloration and the delicate creamy shells in the pool.

Updated 6-20-18

I’ve since learned that the ‘delicate creamy shells’ in the pool are actually a type of seaweed, Padina japonica. I’m also not sure about my oxygen starvation theory either since blennies are notoriously adept as jumping from pool to pool. Two things are unchanged however: the blenny is still dead and I still like the painterly quality.