Category

Fish

Torpedo Ray Photo

Channel Islands, Fish, Underwater Life

In this photo a California torpedo ray (Torpedo californica), or electric ray, is hovering amid the kelp forest while my diving partner Brad Silva is filming it with his bright torchlights and video camera. Santa Rosa Island, Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary, California.

Pacific torpedo ray in kelp forest, filming lights, Torpedo californica, Macrocystis pyrifera, Santa Rosa Island

Pacific torpedo ray in kelp forest, filming lights.
Image ID: 01009
Species: Pacific torpedo ray, Torpedo californica, Macrocystis pyrifera
Location: Santa Rosa Island, California, USA

Here are all of my Torpedo Ray Photos

Photo of California Sheephead Wrasse

California, Fish, Marine Life, Underwater Life

The California sheephead wrasse, Semicossyphus pulcher, is an interesting fish. It begins its life as a female and remains so until adulthood. When the region’s dominant adult male dies or leaves then switcheroo! one of the remaining adult females will switch genders to assume the role of dominant male of the reef. Note the distinctly different colorations of the juvenile, female and dominant male sheephead wrasses below:

Juvenile sheephead, Farnsworth Banks, Semicossyphus pulcher, Catalina Island

Juvenile sheephead, Farnsworth Banks.
Image ID: 05184
Species: California sheephead wrasse, Semicossyphus pulcher
Location: Catalina Island, California, USA

Juvenile sheephead wrasse, Semicossyphus pulcher

Juvenile sheephead wrasse.
Image ID: 08647
Species: California sheephead wrasse, Semicossyphus pulcher

Sheephead wrasse, adult male coloration (a juvenile or female is partially seen to the right), Semicossyphus pulcher, Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe)

Sheephead wrasse, adult male coloration (a juvenile or female is partially seen to the right).
Image ID: 09624
Species: California sheephead wrasse, Semicossyphus pulcher
Location: Guadalupe Island (Isla Guadalupe), Baja California, Mexico

Keywords: California sheephead wrasse photo, Semicossyphus pulcher, gender change, underwater photo, Guadalupe Island.

Ocean Sunfish Floating On The Ocean Surface

California, Fish, Ocean Sunfish, San Diego

Here’s a photograph we licensed today for a book in Australia. Can you guess what the bright white object is?

Ocean sunfish, Mola mola, San Diego, California

Ocean sunfish.
Image ID: 02030
Species: Ocean sunfish, Mola mola
Location: San Diego, California, USA

It is an OCEAN SUNFISH (Mola mola), laying flat on the ocean’s surface, far offshore of the San Diego (California, USA) coastline. The ocean sunfish is the largest bony fish in the world (sharks and rays are cartilaginous). Southern California seems to be one of the best places in the world to see an ocean sunfish, since they are typically found offshore of southern California and Baja California in the summer. Some years they appear in great numbers while other years they are harder to find on the surface. Often the first ocean sunfish that one sees is a resting one, laying flat on the ocean surface. It may look dead or sick, but it almost certainly is not. When it senses the approach of the boat, it will “wake up” and assume its normal vertical orientation and start swimming — either away from the boat if it is started or toward the boat if it is curious. Ocean sunfish do not have any natural predators. They eat zooplankton such as salps and jellyfish.

This photograph was taken in January about 20 miles offshore of San Diego and 2 feet above the water, leaning over the rail of a small boat.

Keywords: Ocean sunfish, Mola mola, photograph, picture, San Diego

Photo of Mangrove Snapper in Three Sisters Spring

Fish, Florida, Underwater Life

Mangrove snapper, Lutjanus griseus, Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida

Mangrove snapper.
Image ID: 02685
Species: Mangrove snapper, Lutjanus griseus
Location: Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida, USA

I spent a week one winter hanging out at the Three Sisters spring in Crystal River, Florida, photographing manatees. Early in the week the weather was cold so plenty of manatees were holed up in the warm spring water. Later in the week, the weather and surrounding waters warmed a bit and the manatees gradually left to forage away from the springs. I was left with no manatees, so I decided to swim up the narrow brook that connects the three freshwater springs to a larger brackish canal in which most the manatees spend most of their time, thinking that a manatee might be up in the springs themselves. At the origin of the brook, amid a cluster of mangrovey trees of some sort, the three springs are found. Each is about the size of a large backyard swimming pool, with sandy bottom and sides composed of silt and decaying leaves. Trees overhang the edges. The water is exceptionally clear. A local had told me that one of the springs was home to a tiny alligator, but I was unable to find it. I did, however, encounter a large school of gray snapper, also known as mangrove snapper, swimming along the edges of one of the springs. With the trees in the background as a background, the fish offered some nice compositions and I spent an hour swimming around them that morning. No one else was around.

Mangrove snapper, Lutjanus griseus, Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida

Mangrove snapper.
Image ID: 02682
Species: Mangrove snapper, Lutjanus griseus
Location: Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida, USA

Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida

Three Sisters Springs.
Image ID: 02671
Location: Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida, USA

Three Sisters Springs depicted in an underwater landscape with sand, clear water and trees, Crystal River, Florida

Three Sisters Springs depicted in an underwater landscape with sand, clear water and trees.
Image ID: 02673
Location: Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida, USA

Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida

Three Sisters Springs.
Image ID: 02672
Location: Three Sisters Springs, Crystal River, Florida, USA

Keywords: Florida springs, gray snapper photo, mangrove snapper photo, Three Sisters, Crystal River, underwater pho