In this post I want to share images of three fish that I think are particularly striking, two of which I’ve had very limited success with. My first is the Long-snouted Seahorse (Hippocampus guttulatus). In aquarium circles, seahorses are not too rare, with an increasing number available from CB operations. In the wild, sightings of these slow moving and highly cryptic animals are celebrated amongst divers and underwater photographers. In fact, in fifteen years this is only the second seahorse of any species I have seen.Being so very well camouflaged and accompanied by dermal projections and even growths of other animals (note the hydroids under the chin) seahorses are very hard to find underwater and even harder to photograph well, especially as they are most unwilling to turn and face you. I’m sure some photographers attempt to move them. This is considered very bad form and is no doubt illegal in some territories.
A much more easily photographed, though still very well camouflaged fish is Scorpaena scrofa. This is the biggest scorpion fish in the Med, reaching over twenty inches. This animal was one of the largest I’ve seen, no doubt due to the local restrictions on fishing, allowing it to reach such a size. Relying on camouflage, this is an ambush predator with a huge mouth which can engulf quite large prey.
My last fish in this camouflaged trio is the smallest Scorpionfish, S. notata. A fish that despite being a notable predator is undeniably cute.
This was a small specimen, they reach around eight inches. Again, this is a fish with dermal projections and camouflage which help break up its outline.