This beautiful marine snail has a shell that is six inches long but the body of the snail can be a foot wide! Its body is so big that it cannot fit it entirely into its protective shell. This is very odd for marine snails like the cowry or cone shell that can retract its body fully into its hard shell for protection.
From time to time while scuba diving in Kauai I come across a true monster that looks like it should be in a Star Wars movie! This huge crab was introduced into Hawaiian waters in the 1920s and can grow to an amazing 15-inches wide from the tip of one massive claw to the other.
Scuba diving with these huge 50 foot long sharks is a one of a kind experience as the Whale Shark is the largest fish in the world! We dove with five of these “gentile giants” all at the same time and it felt as if we had gone back into the dinosaur age.
This is one of the beat know of the Hawaiian reef fish as divers can often see them in large schools up to 100 individuals. This eight inch long colorful fish that has facial markings that look like a raccoon have a very important Hawaiian name, kikakapu. This means strongly forbidden!
Starfish are quite rare in Hawaiian water compared to other arts of the pacific. Hawaii is thousands of miles away from the mainland and some creatures just had a hard time making the long journey all the way to Hawaii back in time. Starfish (sea stars) are one of those creatures and only a few species live in Hawaii and it is a treat to see one.
This extremely beautiful eight-inch long dwarf lobster is fairly common in Hawaiian waters, but rarely ever seen. As far as we know it does not even have a Hawaii name as it lives on the deeper water coral reefs way back in cracks and only comes out at night time!
This common, foot-long Hawaiian reef fish is often missed by people who snorkel and scuba dive because they live right in the surf, where it is not safe to dive! In order to see them you have to go out beyond the waves and safely look back to shore where they will flow in and out of the reef with the surge from the surf.
This large beautiful Hawaiian reef fish grows up to 20-inches long and is often confused with several other large surgeonfish like the Yellowfin and Ringtail. The best way to tell them apart is by their bright white scalpel at the base of their tail of which you do not want to get near!
This very special six-to-eight foot long shark is very important to Hawaiian coral reefs and also to the Hawaiian culture! For over 1,000 years the people here in Hawaii protected these sharks as they are part of their spiritual connection to the sea.
This beautiful shallow water reef fish is wonderful to watch as it zooms around in the surf, but you do not want to touch one! Tangs are in the Surgeonfish family and they have a razor sharp spine near their tail that can cause a deep cut on your hand if you get too close.
This beautiful Hawaiian reef fish is a one of a kind as it is the only member of the Zanclidae family on our coral reefs! It is often mistaken for the common butterfly fish but it is actually one of the oldest known Hawaiian fish with fossil records dating back over 50 million years.
Meet humuhumu-nukunuku-a-pua’a the Wedgetail Triggerfish! This iconic Hawaiian reef fish is also known at the Picasso Triggerfish and its Hawaiian name has a fascinating meaning of which is still not completely understood.