CRITTER: Meet ‘ulae the orangemouth lizard fish

Out on the coral reef fish have to look big and tough so they don’t get eaten by larger predator fish. A small fish can have large sharp teeth to protect itself but those teeth may or may not help them in finding food. There has to be a balance between feeding and protection and ‘ulae the lizard fish has developed a way to have both by developing false teeth.

CRITTER: Meet puhi lau milo the undulated moray eel

Puhi lau milo is a 4-foot-long, beautiful moray eel that hides in the reef during the day and comes out to feed at night. If you have done a snorkel in Hawai‘i over a shallow lava and coral reef you probably have gone right over one of these morays, as they are quite common but rarely ever seen during the day.

CRITTER: Puhi uha the conger eel hunts with the manta ray

In our ocean it is common for one fish species to hunt with a different species if the outcome is food for the both of them. Roi often hunts with moray eels and papio often hunts with weke, the goatfish. Even large sharks hunt with large barracuda from time to time.

CRITTER: Meet the dangerous Ewa fang blenny

This four inch long skinny fish has a huge smile on its face and looks totally harmless. It swims in open water above the reef and wiggles back and forth like an earthworm crawls and it is one of the most dangerous little fish in Hawaii. The way it feeds is truly amazing and it is rarely ever eaten by larger fish!

CRITTER: Meet Loulu the Scrawled Filefish

Loulu the Scrawled Filefish is a bizarre looking sea creature! It can grow to almost three feet long but it is only 2 inches wide. Its huge tail fin can be a third of its body length and it has a tiny round mouth. Loulu can change colors quickly from green with blue stripes to solid grey.