Readers’ wildlife photos

Reader Joe Dickinson has sent us a last batch of photos he took while snorkeling off Moorea. His notes are indented:

A few last shots from Moorea, including fish species it took me a while to identify, some still not identified, and some miscellaneous non-fish.
First, a redfin or oval butterflyfish (Chaetodon lunulatus).


Orange lined triggerfish (Balistapus undulatus).


A pair of sail fin tang (Zebrasoma veliferum). I noticed that a number of species seem to travel in sets of two, but I don’t know if they are male/female pairs.


Blotcheye soldierefish (Myripristis berndti) hung out in large groups along a rock wall where they could retreat into crevices if alarmed.


The blue spotted toby (Canthigaster solandri) is a species of puffer.


I believe this is some kind of hawkfish (family Cirrhitidae), but I can’t make a firm identification. It “perches” on a coral head near a hole into which it can retreat.


Here’s an interesting one that I’ve failed completely to identify.  Any clues from a reader?


Now for a couple of group shots that give a sense of how diverse and colorful this environment is.



The resort we stayed at hosts a sea turtle rehabilitation facility.  I believe this is a juvenile green sea turtle (Chelonia mydas).


They also have a “Dolphin Encounter” with bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncates).  I have mixed feelings about this use of captive animals, but I have to admit that this individual seemed almost as pleased to have a tummy rub as does my d*g.


Out of the water, this brown booby (Sula leucogaster) perched frequently on the roof of our bungalow, sometimes overnight.


Finally, I dare say this is one of the most unusual snorkeling photos I’ve taken.  The blurry spot in the center is due to a drop of water on the “window” that covers the lens.  My wife must never know that I shared this.



  1. Jim Knight
    Posted July 20, 2016 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Beautiful photos! And we won’t tell your wife…

  2. Debbie Coplan
    Posted July 20, 2016 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    absolutely loved the photos AND loved the mermaid under the rainbow

  3. Mark Sturtevant
    Posted July 20, 2016 at 8:19 am | Permalink

    Very enjoyable pictures, Joe! I wish I could help you ID your unknown..

  4. Posted July 20, 2016 at 8:38 am | Permalink

    Lovely shots. Look like you had a great vacation.

  5. rickflick
    Posted July 20, 2016 at 9:42 am | Permalink

    Beautiful. Coral reefs are suffering all over the world. It’s good to see there is still life out there as we head for another world record hot year. Hold your breath as the gasses we spew into the air every day accumulates like the tension of a heating pressure cooker.

  6. Kevin
    Posted July 20, 2016 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Oh I want very much to go there…well, when I live in Hawaii I can easily visit. 🐬

  7. gravelinspector-Aidan
    Posted July 20, 2016 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Orange lined triggerfish (Balistapus undulatus).

    Wow, that’s a competitor for the Picasso Triggerfish.
    Fishbase, if I recall correctly, is a useful tool for getting IDs on unknown fish. (Linked to above).

    • gravelinspector-Aidan
      Posted July 20, 2016 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      Unfortunately, Fishbase isn’t very happy with your unknown’s generic name. but it does come up with a list of assorted “hawkfish” to go with variants on that name. See here.

  8. Ken Elliott
    Posted July 20, 2016 at 11:06 am | Permalink

    Thank you, Joe, for taking and sharing so many terrific photos. My favorite is the juvenile green sea turtle.She is a beautiful creature.

  9. Ann German
    Posted July 20, 2016 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    That last shot reminded me of a story told me by a friend who studied journalism. He said that the best instruction he ever got was from a woman teacher who told him, “never publish a photo of a woman from behind.”

  10. Heather Hastie
    Posted July 20, 2016 at 3:31 pm | Permalink

    Great photos! Most enjoyable.

    Personally, I prefer photos from behind, but not if they show skin!

  11. Posted July 20, 2016 at 11:57 pm | Permalink

    Terrific photos……… ❤

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