CRITTER: Meet loli the sea cucumber
We have over a dozen sea cucumbers that call Hawaiian waters home, and most of them are called “loli.”
CRITTER: Meet the coral guard crab
When we scuba dive in Hawaii we are always on the lookout for the large crown of thorn starfish. This venomous foot wide starfish eats live coral and it is native to Hawaii. Sometimes the crown of thorns population gets out of control and can eat up an entire coral reef.
Meet the rare Tinkers butterfly-fish from Ni‘ihau
As a marine biologist it has been fun to try and get a picture and video clip of every known Hawaiian fish species that lives close to shore for my marine life education program.
CRITTER: Meet puhi uha the conger eel
The conger eel grows to be about four foot long and they have tiny teeth, compared to the moray eels which usually have large sharp teeth.
CRITTER: Meet kaku the barracuda
That is not a big shark! It’s kaku the barracuda!
CRITTER: Pohaku puna the finger coral, natures seawall
If you live on a sandy beach here in Hawaii then you may come to love the giant finger corals because they just may help save your house from falling into the sea someday soon! Pohaku
CRITTER: Meet the banded coral shrimp, the underwater dentist
Most divers and snorkelers here in Hawaii have seen the banded coral shrimp. This super common marine invertebrate is usually seen during the day hanging upside down in a small crack or cave in the reef.
CRITTER: Meet kupipi the singing fish
Spring is here and love is all around even for the fish! From birds to geckos, animals often change colors and behaviours this time of year to attract a mate for breeding.
CRITTER: Meet moano the many-bar goat-fish
This foot long goatfish is very common here in Hawaii and you usually see them near the base of rocky outcroppings where they use their two appendages under their chin called barbels, to find food.
CRITTER: Meet the striped mullet, the fish of the chiefs,
There are three types of mullets that are native to Hawaii and ‘ama’ama the striped mullet is the largest species growing to about 25 inches. This silver fish with black edges around its fins lives in shallow water close to shore often in large schools.
CRITTER: Meet the very strange looking harlequin shrimp
Most divers in Hawaii will never see this rare shrimp, but even if they did they more than likely would not know what they are looking at!
CRITTER: Meet pu’u olai the crowned toby
Toby fish are small pufferfish and each species occupies a different habit in the sea.
CRITTER: Meet lauia the Regal Parrotfish
Most parrotfish in Hawaii are called uhu and we have over five known species and maybe even some crosses between species. One reason it is hard to identify parrotfish is because they are all hatched out as females and then some convert into males for breeding purposes.
CRITTER: Meet mano the Galapagos Shark
In 2016 I was scuba diving at Tunnels Reef (Makua) in Kaua‘i doing a coral study and also spearfishing for roi which is an invasive grouper species that is damaging our coral reef ecosystem here in Hawai‘i. I had just speared a large 18 inch roi and was putting it in my fish bag when a huge shark came out of nowhere and ripped the roi right out of my hands!
CRITTER: Meet puhi palahoana the Bearded Cusk Eel
There is a true deep sea monster here in Hawaii that lives in very shallow water but is rarely ever seen! This two foot long eel looks like a cross between a catfish and a moray eel and after 3,000 dives here in Hawaii I have only seen two of these unusual fish until the other night.
CRITTER: Meet Hawaii’s Super Rare Flame Angelfish
At one point in time it was thought that this extremely colorful four inch long angelfish may be extinct here in Hawaii as no one had seen one for years! I have done over 3,000 dives in the Hawaiian Islands and up until last year I had never seen this rare fish here in Hawaii but it is quite common in parts of the Philippines and the South Pacific.
CRITTER: Meet the Hawaiian fish that rides waves
Hawai‘i has a very unique marine ecosystem because of the large waves that break directly onto nearshore reefs. As far as islands go Hawai‘i is a new island chain and on the Big Island new land is added to the sea every few years from the erupting volcanoes.
CRITTER: Papa ‘i ako ‘ako’ a the Rainbow Swimming Crab
Scuba diving in a cave under the reef at 40 feet deep then looking up at the dark ceiling of the cave right into the psychedelic eyes of a 7-inch wide blue and orange crab is quite exciting!
CRITTER: Meet the gold lace nudibranch
This small soft bodied dorid sea slug is only found in the main Hawaiian Islands and was first discovered in 1982.
CRITTER: Meet hinalea the psychedelic wrasse
This small fast moving seven inch long fish only occurs in Hawaii and is rarely seen by divers. The juvenile female is red black and white and is usually seen on shallow reefs in groups of three or four.