Thursday, April 09, 2009

Sargassum Frogfish... drifting the oceans worldwide... even Hawaii...

This very cool picture is one that Cathy e-mailed me. She took this some time ago and had told me about it and I really wanted a copy of it for the blog. This was found on a net floating at sea off Kona.

Sargassum Frogfish (Histrio histrio) are an angler fish species that lives in floating seaweed and other debris. They can blend in quite well with seaweeds, and snatch up small fish. Any time you have something floating in the ocean, it'll create an oasis of life in short order.... if you aren't sure of how true this is, do a blue water dive, I've seen people have a following of tiny fish in as little as 30 minutes or so.

Man, can they eat. Years ago, I was really, really, really into aquariums... worked in the trade and eventually had an aquarium store. I picked up a Sargassum frog at one point and had it at the house. I was in my early/mid 20's and few things appeal to a 20 something-ish year old beer drinker and his friends on a Saturday night as much as one of these fish (except girls I suppose, but they were in short supply that evening). We had some people over and decided it was time to feed the frogfish, then it turned into time to see how much the frogfish could eat.... 5 live goldfish later, 2 of those about the same size as the body portion of the frogfish was originally, it finally stopped chasing down fish. We were thoroughly impressed... able to eat 3-4 times it's original body weight in one sitting, all us guys wished we could do that. It looked like someone stuffed a bunch of jawbreakers in a balloon and stuck small leaves on it. I think I sold it to someone shortly after that.

We had gray skies today, it was dry though. We've had a bit of both a south and a north swell the last couple days, but it's settling down quite nicely. By the end of our second dive it became nearly glassy flat.

Manta update... the manta dive has been hopping up at the airport manta site the last couple of days, up in the mid/high teens in numbers. We have a charter on Saturday evening to do the dive... should be good!!!



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