Tag Archives: Seaweed

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.