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How to Identify the Most Common Fish When Snorkeling in Hawaii

If you and your kids are excited about snorkeling, you will also be excited about identifying the fish that you see. There are several species that you are likely to run across, no matter where you snorkel in Hawaii. These species are described below.

Most likely the first fish you will encounter while snorkeling is the Saddle Wrasse. The Saddle Wrasse is endemic to Hawaii, meaning that you will not find it anywhere else in the world. Wrasses are a diverse group of colorful fish and are usually the dominant family on the coral reef. The Saddle Wrasse can be identified by the orange band or "saddle" that is present behind its blue-green head. This fish sports an elongated purplish-green body and males may display a white band behind the orange saddle.

It is nearly impossible to snorkel in Hawaii and not run across the Manini or Convict Surgeonfish. The body of the Convict Surgeonfish is ovate with a greenish or silvery cast and displays six vertical black stripes like the prison inmate uniforms seen in the old movies, that the name. This fish has a small puckering mouth that it uses to feed on algae and a pair of sharp weapons near the tail.

Moorish Idols are very common on the reef. They are often found in pairs or groups and are very easy to spot. Called "Angelfish" by many newcomers for the long filament that trails from the dorsal fin, they are actually more closely related to Surgeonfish than true Angelfish. Moorish Idols display two wide black bars on the body and one the tail. The center of the body is a sunny yellow color and the face is black with a yellow drop that adorns the top of a pointed snout.

Do not forget that the reef is a delicate place. Avoid touching the reef and apply your eco-friendly sunscreen 15 minutes before entering the water.


Source by Monika Mira

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