When reviewing my image archive, very much with: “I wish I was diving right now” running through my head – especially as the Scottish autumn turns into another soggy Scottish winter, it is shots like these that really make me want to warm up my credit card and defy the (actually very sensible) travel restrictions that are keeping me home right now.
Being on a reef full of anthias is one of the greatest diving experiences you can have. These shots from the Red Sea, which is one of my favorite destinations, has reefs with thousands of them, each individual swimming away into the current, picking at passing morsels of food.
The females are, to me at least, more attractive than the males, with that bright violet ‘detailing’ around the eye and gill cover. The slightly larger males, with showier fins and an overall more red-ish coloration, have to work very hard to keep an eye on their harems.
Not only do they need to keep the other males from stealing their females, they need to hold position a little further out from the reef, to keep an eye on all that is going on. I imagine this requires greater effort. They also need to stay wary of the risk from predators.
It is easy to find yourself transfixed by these beautiful scenes, despite their real nature. Hundreds, if not thousands, of battles for survival are happening every single hour.
It might be something of a battle ground, but I really miss it.