A variety of fish swim in the surge over a shallow part of the reef. The yellow chub is an unusual color variant of the gray chubs swimming with it.
This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Something Fishy.’ See more responses here.
This seemed like a good opportunity to post a gallery of some of the fish I see when I snorkel around here. Most are brightly colored or have distinctive markings.
Also posted in response to Becky’s April Squares challenge theme of ‘Bright.’ See more responses here.
These small damselfishes are often seen, but less often noticed, if that makes sense. They gather around coral heads but are quick to disappear when approached. At some point I realized that I’d seen these fish often but didn’t actually know what they were. Now I do!
The Hawaiian dascyllus is an endemic damselfish. I see them most often when they’re feeding, usually some way below the surface of the water. This one was a bit higher than most.
I was out snorkeling with a friend when I noticed her taking photos of a small clump of floating debris. When I headed over to see what was so interesting about the debris, I saw a host of tiny fish swimming around and within the clump. This was a small example of how fish, particularly smaller fish, will use floating objects to give them some cover and security from predators.
Most of the fish appeared to be sergeant fish, probably Indo-Pacific Sergeants, no more than half an inch long, but with their dark bars quite distinct. There were a couple of other species there, too, in smaller numbers, but I’m not sure what they were. (Update: The slightly larger grey fish are freckled driftfish. Thanks to John Hoover for the ID.)
The second photo gives a sense of scale and shows how small this little world was. It also shows the fish migrating across to check out whether this new clumpy thing might make a good new home. They did this with both of us, but returned to the floating debris, figuring wisely that it offered better shelter for them.
Posted in response to this week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme of ‘Quiet Places.’ See more responses here.
There are two kinds of longnose butterflyfish in Hawaii, the common longnose and the big longnose. Neither name is especially flattering, but I think this is a big longnose butterflyfish. It feeds mostly on small shrimp, which it catches by thrusting its long nose into small crevices and swallowing its prey whole.
The little bright-eye damselfish on the left might have been startled by the butterflyfish, but not threatened. They can be quite aggressive in defending their small territories.
A bright-eye damselfish guards its territory, which includes this red pencil urchin, against intruders.
A little snapshot of things tucked into the rocks along the Big Island. There’s a red pencil urchin and blue-black urchin, a patch of cauliflower coral, and a cowry, probably a reticulated cowry. And if you look closely, there’s a bright-eyed damselfish swimming between the coral and red pencil urchin.