Friday, July 24, 2009

Yellowhead Jawfish hello.

You may recognize this little guy from my new header. The Yellowhead Jawfish, with a name much bigger than his tiny fish body, inhabits stretches from Florida down to the northern parts of South America -- I have found them everywhere in the Bahamian Island chain. The head and upper body are a light, but brilliant, yellow color slowly fading to a pearlescent blue hue and they use their mouth to carry sand, shells, or small rocks from one location to another. (Males are mouth brooders and will carry the eggs in their mouths until they hatch.) A reef associated species that live inside burrows made of crushed coral and sand, these little guys enter their burrow tail first and you can often see their head stick up from the hole while the rest of the body remains hidden. When it is not hiding it will hover vertically in close vicinity to its burrow and if anything frightens it (to include divers) they will instantly disappear back into its protective burrow tail first.
From afar, a colony of Yellowheads appear like swaying grasses, but as you or a predator come towards them, the "swaying grass" all but disappears. I found that if you manage your buoyancy and hover quietly at their level, their curiosity gets the best of them and they slowly come out of their burrows to check you out. I snapped a few photos but once they see the flash, they tend to bug eye and then hide again. These little creatures are amusing to watch and they have sweet little faces.

Hey, who is that in front of my burrow?

Sea Witch, you are to close for my taste, move back you big, bubble making, air breathing human.

You're still here?

Sea Witch, you are awfully close to me. I think you need to back off.

I'm outta here --- go visit something a big, old shark.

These photos were taken with a Canon Elph, using the internal flash housed in an Ikelite underwater housing unit. I am very, very new to underwater photography...more like picture taking as I am such a novice so please forgive my amaturish photos. As I take more pictures, I hope to hone my underwater photography skills.


seanymph said...

I cant swim so underwater photography is out for me. But I just got a new Nikon D60 and photography Im finding out is alot more complicated than I thought. Thank God for PSP to fix my messes...altho thats pretty complicated too. BTW that lil guy is too the big eyes and your text.

Anonymous said...

Oh, this is lovely! These are great undersea pictures.
I think this yellowhead jawfish is cute!

Dari, your package arrived during I was in Nuremberg. I pick it up from the post office today.
I posted about it today. Everything is sooo wonderful. It made me happy to unpack all these lovely things you gathered especially for me.
Thank you very much!

big hugs from Germany