Tag Archives: Lobsters

The morning dip

A whitetip reef shark passes below looking, I think, for a quiet place to get some rest.
A fourspot butterflyfish swims by a patch of cauliflower coral, some living, some dead. There are two spots on each side, but this fish was very small so the second spot was still filling in as space allowed.
A blue goatfish cruises by.
A green linckia sea star and lobster molt. Most green linckia have five arms but can have four or six. They’re able to reproduce by detaching an arm which will eventually develop into a new star.

This week’s Friendly Friday challenge theme is ‘Morning Rituals.’ See more responses here.

Most mornings, I try to get in the water, as conditions and schedules allow. Morning is the best time for snorkeling as the water is usually calmer before the wind picks up as the day wears on. Visibility can vary from day to day and it can help to check surf reports to see if there are any swells moving in. But calm water doesn’t guarantee good visibility just as swells don’t always mean bad visibility. There’s only one way to be sure and that’s to jump in.

My favorite thing about snorkeling is that every day is different and I never know what I’ll see. Going to the same spot means I become familiar with some of the regulars, but there are always transient creatures passing through including rays and dolphins. And while those big creatures are great to encounter, it’s equally interesting to watch the activities of smaller fish and marine invertebrates.

It’s a rare day indeed that I don’t emerge prattling on about something I saw while I was in the water. And on those rare days, well, I’ve still had a good swim to set me up for the day ahead.

It wasn’t until I processed this photo of a goldring surgeonfish that I noticed the stocky hawkfish resting motionless below it.

Lobster molt

Until I moved to Hawaii, I was not aware that lobsters molt. I only learned this when a local diver presented my wife with a lobster molt he’d recovered.

I’d seen live lobsters here, scuttling around on the sea floor, and others looking like the one in the photo. This one was moving, but only because of the action of the water on it. I used to think these were either dead or resting lobsters. In part this was because adult lobsters, which molt once or twice a year, discard a remarkably complete exoskeleton. It then takes them a few weeks for their new exoskeleton to fully harden.

This is probably a molt from a banded spiny lobster. True lobsters and their relatives have enlarged pincers on their front pair of legs. Spiny lobsters (family Palinuridae) are among the lobster varieties that don’t have those enlarged pincers.