Monday, May 9, 2011

A Rare Sighting!

Photo Copyright 2011 by Barry Fackler

 Last weekend Betty and I were diving at Honaunau when we happened upon a male 
Whitley's Boxfish. These are seldom seen in Hawai'i although the females are quite common.

Photo Copyright 2011 by Barry Fackler

According to the book The Ultimate Guide to Hawaiian Reef Fishes, the large, blue males are most abundant in the Marquesa Islands. Females of this species are golden brown with cream-colored markings and have none of the vibrant blue coloration of the males.

We found this fish on a small coral head on the sand bottom beyond the reef drop-off at a depth of around 80'. We returned to the coral head on our next dive but he was gone. I made another dive to the coral head this past weekend but, again, no male Whitley's was there. This is only the third instance in eleven years and around 1200 dives on the Big Island that I have seen a male Whitley's Boxfish.


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