If you've ever dreamed about shoals of anthias, flashing vivid orange, pink and red, then…
Of all the Red Sea sights I get to witness, the shoals of anthias impress me the most. On a recent file deletion binge I found some images of Pseudanthias squamipinnis I don’t think I have shared before. I hope you enjoy ’em.
The good ‘ol squammie is by far the most common species of anthias in the Red Sea; there are five others if memory serves.
Where P. squamipinnis is found,they live in huge numbers, with guide books using phrases like ‘enormous swarms’ to describe them. Given their huge numbers it can be difficult to observe their way of life, but after a while you start to recognize the more flamboyant males as they swim a little farther out into the current, snapping up morsels of food as well as keeping an eye on their harems of females.
For me, the best and most impressive locations are the reef walls which receive currents from the open sea. These incredible walls of hard coral are several miles away from the less impressive fringing reefs, closer to shore.
Divers like me tend to use anthias as indications of what the current is like. If we see that the fish are keeping close to the coral and swimming like crazy then there’s a strong current and hard work ahead!