Do you recall the article by our Resident Marine Biologist Chiara Fumagalli, about “My Favourite Reef Fish” last year? Surely our Marine Biologist Interns Lisa and Jade have favourite ones too. Enjoy reading what they have to tell us about the special ones they like most!
LISA: Let me introduce you to my favourite fish around Coco Bodu Hithi!
If I had to rank my favourite fish by how much I like them, the Yellow-Margin Triggerfish (Pseudobalistes flavimarginatus) would gain the fourth place.
To my eyes, it has the most beautiful colour combination. I especially like light and smooth colours and this fish hits the spot! The Yellow-Margin Triggerfish looks very cute while waving its fins and blowing away sand to find shells to crack. Beware, it’s a beauty with big teeth!
Third place goes to the fish that knows how to pose for a picture: the Blackfoot Anenomefish (Amphiprion nigripes). With its slender orange body and the single white stripe behind its eyes, it is truly beautiful to behold.
The Blackfoot Anenomefish is THE Maldivian fish, as it cannot be found anywhere else in the world apart from Maldives and Sri Lanka!
Its home and shelter is the Magnificent Sea Anenome; together, they make the perfect pair, one looking after the other.
My second favourite fish is … the Six-Bar Wrasse (Thalassoma hardwicke): It’s the funniest fish of all!
It is as colourful as a clown and always swimming in front of my camera. This fish needs a lot of attention!The Six-Bar Wrasse is everywhere: as soon as I am in the water at least one Six-Bar Wrasse is following me. They apparently like to have company and look at snorkelers very closely.
No surprise, my favourite fish in the whole world is the Reef Manta Ray (Manta alfredi)!
Manta Rays are huge and lack bones: instead of bones the skeleton of rays and sharks is made of cartilage. It is soft and flexible, but still strong.
Just touch your nose and you will know what a manta ray’s skeleton feels like!
Manta Rays are simply the best to me because they are very mighty but peaceful animals.
JADE: There are plenty of fish that live on the reef around Coco Palm Dhuni Kolhu, fish of all different colours, shapes and sizes.
I am fascinated by all of them, but I have a few favourites, and here they are!
The Heart Stopper:
The fish which has stolen my heart is the Sheephead Parrotfish (Chlorurus strongylocephalus).
It is impossible not to see it, unless you are swimming with your eyes closed.
Very common on our house reef where it is the most colourfully dressed fish. Its teeth form a beak which helps it eat algae and coral polyps.If you hear crrrrrunnnch chruchhhh underwater, a parrotfish is feeding nearby!
The beautiful one:
With the beauty and elegance of an empress, the Empress Angelfish (Pygoplites diacanthus) definitely earns its name.The Empress Angelfish’s stripes allow it to camouflage with sea plants and escape being seen by hungry predators. Its favourite food are sponges.
The misunderstood one:
I am completely fascinated by the Blacktip Reef Shark (Carcharhinus melanopterus)! Despite its scary appearance, it is among the most curious and friendliest of sharks. It feeds on small fish, squids and shrimps so no worries!
Do you know that Sharks are fish that have been around in the Oceans since before the dinosaurs? In the end, sharks are probably my favorite kind of fish.
The” we will never ever be together” fish:
With its big white eyes, conic teeth and strong temper, I have to admit the Titan Trigger fish (Balistoides viridescens) scares me a little bit. During the nesting season it is known to scare away divers and snorkelers, while protecting its eggs!
…And what is your favourite fish?