Monday, September 01, 2008

Crocodile Needlefish (Tylosurus crocodilus)...

Now here's a fish picture I know I haven't posted before. It's a Crocodile Needlefish. These guys get up to about 3 feet in length, maybe a bit more, and we see them from time to time diving as they are soliciting cleaner wrasses to pick the parasites off them. This one was hanging over the top of the arch at "Golden Arches" as I was doing my safety stop. You can see the cleaner wrasse just on the other side of it's head.

We occasionally see these fish above the water, leaping across the water repeatedly. They cover quite a bit of ground when they do it, I suspect they're escaping something or possibly chasing down baitfish. They're also apparently attracted to lights at night and occasionally people will get hit by them. There was a "diver" - sadly the local media doens't distinguish between freedivers and scuba divers - I heard later he was a freediver, who was impaled by one of these while spearfishing at night with a flash light off Oahu a few years ago...
Here's a report I found on it. Initial reports on the news were that a "diver" was attacked by a barracuda. The guy was pretty severely injured as the beak of the needlefish punctured his liver, I never did find out how it all turned out.

In general they're nothing to worry about, they spend most of their time in the top few feet of water. These guys are tough to get a good picture of as they blend in well with the blues of the water. I was still in macro when I took this and the fish was about 12 feet away. I also realized afterwards that I'd bumped my ISO setting to 400 accidentally (high ISO makes for a grainy photo) so I'm glad I got what I did.



No comments: