Readers’ wildlife photographs

This is the second installment (first here) of photos taken by Jeffrey Lewis on Bonaire. His notes are indented, and I repeat part of the introduction to the last batch. There will be one more installment:

These were all taken on a family vacation to Bonaire, an island in the Caribbean just off the coast of Venezuela.  It’s a special municipality of the Netherlands – almost but not quite a normal municipality.  It’s a rather small island, only 114 square miles, with a population of around 17,500.  Its main claim to fame is in being one of the premier locations for shore diving, with many reefs close enough to shore that they’re easy enough to swim to without having to use a boat.  In addition to all the open water scuba diving & snorkeling that we did, we also explored the island itself, including a tour in some of the island’s caves, and a kayaking trip through mangroves.

Land Crab (possibly Gecarcinus ruricola):

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Unidentified fish in a mangrove pool.  Our guide said they were juvenile parrotfish, but this particular guide made a few questionable statements, so I’m not sure if he was correct on the fish id.

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Unidentified fish. I just really liked the way this guy looked peeking out behind the mangrove roots:

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Unidentified fish species in the sea grass near the mangroves:

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Coral head: Possibly Boulder Star Coral (Orbicella annularis) with a couple Foureye Butterflyfish (Chaetodon capistratus):

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Yellowtail Snapper (Ocyurus chrysurus):

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Spotted Moray Eel (Gymnothorax moringa):

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Probably a Blue Angelfish (Holacanthus bermudensis), although the Queen Angelfish (Holacanthus ciliaris) is very similar, and Wikipedia says that they can sometimes breed to produce hybrids:

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9 Comments

  1. ThyroidPlanet
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    I don’t want to give away too much personal info here, but these are great for sharing over breakfast – especially on the day of the “Finding Dory” movie special!

  2. Karen Bartelt
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 10:15 am | Permalink

    Beautiful!

  3. Jenny Haniver
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 11:03 am | Permalink

    These sea creatures are lovely. I especially like the spotted moray. I like eels, but not to eat. Then Googled and learned about aquatic “cleaning stations” where fish go to be cleaned by other fish. I knew that some terrestrial animals allow other species to clean them, but hadn’t known that some fish also other water-loving animals have aquatic cleaning stations.

    • Mark R.
      Posted December 27, 2016 at 11:17 am | Permalink

      I used to keep reef tanks. Sometimes my fish would get “ich” so I introduced some cleaner shrimp, and they set up a cleaning station. Never had that problem again. So even in the confines of a 50gal. aquarium, this behavior still persists; not that I can think of a reason why the behavior shouldn’t persist.

    • Carl S
      Posted December 27, 2016 at 11:59 am | Permalink

      From what I’ve seen, cleaning, and stations are quite common, including shrimp in anemones, shrimp in and on fish (mostly eels from what I’ve seen), fish in and on fish, fish all over turtles, etc. I’ve seen dive guides stop at a station, remove regulator from mouth, open wide and hover for a while until the shrimp went inside to check them out.

      • Jenny Haniver
        Posted December 27, 2016 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

        Your response and Mark R’s sent me to Youtube, where I found some great videos of fish cleaning stations, this one in particular is wonderful, and sea turtles being cleaned https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OMFiI2at1p4

  4. Mark R.
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 11:23 am | Permalink

    Beautiful photos. Thanks and looking forward to the next installment.

    The unidentified fish in the sea grass could be a type of goby. The way it’s using its front left fin (like it may be walking or perching) is consistent with gobies as they lack swim bladders and scurry (and swim) along the sea floor.

  5. Glenda
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    THNX for the post, such interesting photos and captions. I was particularly taken with the Boulder Star Coral.

  6. Carl S
    Posted December 27, 2016 at 11:53 am | Permalink

    Angel looks like typical Queen, with its distinctive “crown,” and entirely yellow tail (distinctive features per Humann’s popular guide).


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