Humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus)

The humphead wrasse, Cheilinus undulatus, is a wrasse that is mainly found in coral reefs in the Indo-Pacific region. It is also known as the Maori wrasse, Napoleon wrasse, Napoleonfish.

The humphead wrasse is the largest living member of the family Labridae, with males reaching 6 feet (2 m) in length, while females rarely exceed about 3 feet (1 m). It has thick, fleshy lips and a hump that forms on its head above the eyes, becoming more prominent as the fish ages. Males range from a bright electric blue to green, a purplish blue, or a relatively dull blue/green. Juveniles and females are red-orange above, and red-orange to white below. Some males grow very large, with one unconfirmed report of a Humphead Wrasse that was 7.75 feet (2.29 m) long and weighed 420 lbs (190.5 kg).

Adults are confined to steep coral reef slopes, channel slopes, and lagoon reefs in water 3 to 330 feet (1-100 m) deep. They primarily eat mollusks, fishes, sea urchins, crustaceans, and other invertebrates and are one of the few predators of toxic animals such as sea hares, boxfishes, and crown-of-thorns star fish. This species actively selects branching hard and soft corals and seagrasses at settlement. Juveniles tend to prefer a more cryptic existence in areas of dense branching corals, bushy macroalgae or seagrasses, while larger individuals and adults prefer to occupy limited home ranges in more open habitat on the edges of reefs, channels, and reef passes. The species is most often observed in solitary male-female pairs, or groups of two to seven individuals.

Picture: Red Sea, Egypt by Sami Salmenkivi


Jolthead porgy [Calamus bajonado]

The Sparidae is a family of fish, included in the order Perciformes. The fishes of the family are commonly called breams and porgies (North America). The sheepshead, scup, and red sea bream are species in this family. Silvery porgies are solitary and stay near the bottom where they feed on shellfish and crabs.

Wikipedia has no article on Jolthead porgy.

Picture: Cozumel, Mexico by Sami Salmenkivi

Yellowtail snapper [Ocyurus chrysurus]

The yellowtail snapper, Ocyurus chrysurus, is an abundant species of snapper found along the North American coast of the Atlantic Ocean. Although they have been found as far north as Massachusetts, their normal range is along Florida down through the West Indies and Brazil.

In certain reefs, most notably in the Florida Keys, this beautifully colored fish is commonly spotted among divers and snorkelers. The yellow tailed snapper is also a popular and abundant game fish that makes excellent table fare. Yellowtail feed on shrimp, crabs, worms and smaller fish. They spawn in groups off the edge of reefs from spring to fall, but heavily in midsummer. (text source: wikipedia)

Picture: Utila, Honduras by Sami Salmenkivi

Schoolmaster snapper [Lutjanus apodus]

The schoolmaster snapper, Lutjanus apodus, is found from Massachusetts to Brazil, but is common in southern Florida and the Caribbean. Up to 24 inches in length. It has a robust slightly compressed body, with a pointed head. Its color varies from silvery tp bronze. Fins and tails are yellow and the snout contains blue stripes. Lives in groups of dozens of subjects. Keeps a short distance from the seafloor at depths between 10 and 90 feet.

 Pictures: Cozumel, Mexico by Sami Salmenkivi