Wednesday, June 16, 2010

St. Croix - Fish

Of course, we saw hundreds of different fish species while snorkeling. Here I will highlight a few of my favorites.

First up, on the left, is a fish I had never seen in the wild before. Sadly the photo did not turn out too sharp, but you can still see the shape of the longlure frogfish (Antennarius multiocellatus). It is bright yellow and lumpy in order to blend in with the sponges - though individuals of this species come in a variety of colors. It was incredibly cute, and as I touched it, it only reluctantly moved. In fact it then tried to wedge itself between some sponges, spreading out its strange fleshy fins as leverage. It was found at Fredericksted pier.

On the right is a juvenile french angelfish. It is an old juvenile, as it appeared about 10" long - I have not yet seen a fully grown adult french angelfish with no stripes. The young ones are still impressive, though, as they flit between the schools of smaller fish. We usually see these at the tires, which were sunk out in the bay in front of the condo next door to ours.

We came across several large schools of fish at the Vincent Mason resort and Fredericksted pier. I'm still not sure what species they were, but they had beautiful green stripes. It felt like we were in the middle of an underwater documentary, there were so many thousands (millions?) of fish! They moved in the most amazing patterns, and as I swam and dove among them, I never once felt one brush up against me.

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