Monday, May 11, 2009


While diving or snorkeling Hawaii, this is the book of reference for any one who finds interest in the aquatic life beneath waves. In fact, while I dive there is a copy of this book on the boat and when I return to post all of my pictures, or if I've taken a photo of fish that I'd never seen before or weren't at all familiar with, I go off to research it beginning here. Some of the following images are fish that I hadn't always captured pictures of in the past, or they were new to me.

This picture of a Spotted Boxfish. When I went to look this boxfish up in my trusty guide, I found that Hoover's photo looks almost identical to my own, the only difference being that his in better focus. But the fish is in almost the same position and the coral and rock behind is the same coloring. Maybe we captured the same fish?!
This Stripebelly Puffer was new to me. It is also sometimes called the "Stars and Stripes Puffer," an interesting fact found while researching it's species. The largest of the Hawaiian puffers we spotted this one at about 75 feet in the garden eels at Crescent Beach mooring.

Despite the fact that I have already posted some pictures of the parrot fish here is another example. This is a Bullethead Parrotfish, the Hawaiian name is "uhu" and I have to post pictures whenever they turn out well because parrot fish are fast and they do not like me to take their picture for what ever reason.
This triggerfish was one I had never seen before. When we got back to the dive shop, Luke, remarked about it, "Oh, you got a nice one of a Gilded Triggerfish there." What was a gilded trigger? I had to look it up. This is a male, identified by it's blue patch on it's throat and fins tipped with gold coloring.

Hawkfish are the best to take pictures of because they simply don't move. Thank you! This is an adult Blackside Hawkfish they grow to about nine inches. 
Here is another fish I had to rely on my handy Hoover guide to find and identify. It is a Bluespine Unicorn fish, in Hawaiian, "kala" which means "thorn." Apparently it is the most common to find among snorkelers but I've been diving for a while so maybe that is why I haven't seen them... I really don't like to snorkel all that much. I was amazed to read that they can grow to around twenty-seven inches and that their skin was tough enough that anciently the Hawaiians would use it to make drum heads.

"If you find me outside the ocean please throw me back in!" This is me, an Amelia fish! The next few photos are of fish that are typically very hard to see and photograph. Lucky for me I was completely camouflaged as a scuba diving Amelia fish, yep I'm harmless! The rest of these fish were found at deeper depths of sixty to seventy feet which is why the color is so different.
These are photos of a Flagtail Tilefish. I had actually seen one once before in a dive but as soon as these fish feel threatened in anyway they will disappear into their burrows. If something approaches too closely and to fast again they will retreat into their dwelling as they hover just a few feet above it. This is the only tilefish known to exist in Hawaii. They like the sandy areas and for me that was great because I simply got myself negatively buoyant and slowly got crawled along the sand to get these great photos. 

During my excitement at capturing the tilefish, Vinny, my dive master this dive, was going crazy to get my attention to move to get some pictures of the indigo dart fish seen below. He was practically yelling through his regulator and signing at the same time, "REALLY, REALLY, RARE!!!!!" Both the dartfish and the tilefish were in the same patch of sandy and rocky bottom in about sixty to seventy feet of water. I was able to use the same technique to get within a few feet of the dartfish but after my last flash went off they disappeared headfirst into their burrow. It was so fast I didn't even see them move, once they were in my camera lens and the next mili-second they were gone! 

One of the other fish seen on this dive was the Peacock Razor Wrasse. Also known to dart away from divers this one just swam around keeping more distance than feeling the need to run. We joked later that he had more fight in him than flight! We had really good fortune on these dives!

No comments: