Bonaire smiles

bonaireSmile2Smooth Trunkfish Juveniles are about the size of a pea. They hover in sheltered areas among corals, using small pectoral fins that can be barely seen with the naked eye. When I first saw this one, I didn’t have my camera with me,so made a mental note that it was near a certain sea fan, by a certain square rock. The next day, my buddies and I went back to Karpata, and this time I had my camera with me. I looked around for a certain square rock, near a certain sea fan, and I was glad to see that my little friend was still there.

As with many other marine creatures, it takes a little bit of patience to get a good look at these little guys. bonaireSmile3Seaweed Blennies can reach 3 inches in length, but are wary of lumbering divers, and prefer to retreat inside their coralline homes when they are approached too hastily. This particular one was in the shallows at Something Special in Bonaire, near the marina, only a few feet away from the underwater webcam.

bonaireSmile1Secretary Blennies live inside small worm holes, and seem to feel secure in their tiny homes. Their brains may be small, but they probably have figured out that divers are not trying to eat them. Although, sometimes, they do get a little too close, and that’s when it’s time for the Secretary Blenny to pull The One Trick it knows: retreating into the hole and waiting until the big shadow has gone away. Patient divers can get quite close if they move slowly and approach gradually. These one-inch long fish have very expressive faces that are interesting to watch, and may occasionally dart out of their holes to grab suspended particles of food.

bonaireSmile4At Karpata, on Bonaire, in the Dutch Antilles, there is a coral, near a certain sea fan, by a certain square rock, where in March 2010 lived a tiny fish that looks like a black pea with yellow polka dots. The Redlip Blenny in this photo lives on the same coral. If a diver is patient and able to stay in one place while being “gently” swept back and forth by the surge, the Blenny will allow the diver to approach and reward the curious human with a nice smile.

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