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A few from Bonaire...

Discussion in 'Name that Critter' started by drrich2, Oct 19, 2019.

  1. drrich2

    drrich2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
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    Had an 8-day stay at Bonaire recently, and saw a few things I'm not familiar with.

    This mackerel-type fish was so big it could've passed for a small to medium barracuda; it didn't stick around and by the time I realized it was something unusual (to me) and started snapping shots, it was nearly gone. This is a crop - don't know if you can I.D. it, but please try. I've seen (and eaten) cero's before; do they get that large?

    IMG_6128.jpeg

    Hanging out just past and slightly down from the pier at Windsock, I think I finally got a bucket list encounter when this rascal went winging by the bottom of the reef slope, maybe around 70 feet deep? I finned down after it and grabbed a few distant shots. Obviously not an eagle (no spots), southern or torpedo ray. Can someone confirm it's a manta ray, and perhaps state a species? I'd say the size was roughly on par with a really large eagle ray.
    IMG_6141.jpg
    These little blue fish were in a small school at 1,000 Steps; roughly the size of blue chromis, but obviously a different species. What are they?
    IMG_6030.jpg
    I've never been good with 'snappers.' Sometimes I can I.D. a cubera snapper, but there are others around. I know the school masters have yellow fins, and some get big, but this guy is something else. Dude's got some teeth!
    IMG_5849.jpg

    Finally, I was chilling at safety stop depth one dive when I got blind-sided by a fish storm. What are these guys?
    IMG_5752.jpg IMG_5755.jpg
     
  2. T.C.

    T.C. Photographer

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Ft. Hood, TX
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    1. Looks to be a Rainbow Runner due to lack of scutes. Hard to tell due to coloration.
    2. Definitely a Manta Ray. Not a Eagle or Stingray because of head shape.
    3. Boga; the blue color and two stripes are the identifying features.
    4. Either a Mutton or Schoolmaster Snapper. Probably the former, hard to tell due to coloration
    5. Sardines, IIRC.
     
    drrich2 likes this.
  3. drrich2

    drrich2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
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    A big thanks! Hadn't heard of boga before; good to know.

    I know it's not evident from photos, but having seen that 'snapper' in person, I'm pretty sure it's no school master; I've seen a lot of school masters in Bonaire, and I know they get decent-sized, but that thing was on par with a good-sized tiger grouper - but the side bars are too vertical, the snout too elongated and the eyes just don't 'look right' for a tiger grouper (I ain't no Marine Biologist, I just see several then think the new guy doesn't quite match what I remember).

    Had no idea rainbow runners got that big, but quick Googling says they can hit 120-cm, so up to 4 feet. Size-wise, that'd do it. I'm guessing that one was roughly a yard long? By the time I got the quick snapshot with my Canon G16 that shot was cropped from, the fish was quite aways off and up reef.

    Sardines would be a nice addition.

    Special thanks about the manta ray. I wanted someone to confirm it as I was so excited to see one.

    Richard.
     
  4. drrich2

    drrich2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
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    Just in case anyone else runs across this thread looking at I.D.s, I got a shot of a big school master (who doesn't show the vertical side barring they sometimes do): IMG_6103.jpg

    I doubt it will make any difference, but I have another shot of the mystery snapper, almost identical except the pectoral fins are sticking out.
    IMG_5848.jpg
     
  5. johndiver999

    johndiver999 Manta Ray

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: Gainesville FL
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    That looks like a cubera snapper to me. Pretty sure actually.
     
    drrich2 likes this.
  6. uncfnp

    uncfnp Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 500 - 999
    Location: North Carolina
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    Agreed. Found it just now. Came back to post and saw john beat me to it.
     
    KathyV and drrich2 like this.
  7. scubadada

    scubadada Diver Staff Member ScubaBoard Supporter

    # of Dives: 1,000 - 2,499
    Location: Philadelphia and Boynton Beach
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    The big "snapper' could be a Tiger Grouper, tan phase, vs. Cubera Snapper. Your ,manta is a Mobula spp. , giant manta vs. another Mobula spp.
     
    drrich2 likes this.
  8. ryan115

    ryan115 Nassau Grouper

    # of Dives: 25 - 49
    Location: St. Petersburg, FL
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    1. Scombridae - looks to be a mackerel of some sort, but the body depth seems a little off. Finlets and caudal keel get it to family at least.
    2. Mobula sp.
    3. Boga
    4. Cubera Snapper
    5. Scad - Trachurus lathami - Rough Scad if I had to guess to species.
     
    drrich2 likes this.
  9. drrich2

    drrich2 Solo Diver

    # of Dives: 200 - 499
    Location: Southwestern Kentucky
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    Posting some follow up about that big ray. I was curious as to whether the species was an 'official' manta vs. a 'devil ray,' and just what it was. Looking around online didn't clinch it for me (I was too far away, and don't have a frontal shot showing the mouth), so it finally occurred to me to hunt up Stinapa's website and shoot them an e-mail with some of the photos and see if anyone could make the call. A few days later I got back what I'll paste below. Which leaves a hard call for me, but it struck me as about the size of a large eagle ray...with a wing span maybe close to 4 feet? So...I still dunno! But I appreciate their help trying to get to the bottom of it, so a special thanks to Bonaire's Stinapa.

    Good afternoon Richard,

    I had one of our marine biologists take a look at it and she is not completely sure. However, we do get devil rays frequently on Bonaire. If the wingspan is less than four feet, then it’s a devil ray, if it's more than that, then it’s a manta.

    Hope to have informed you enough and thank you for the beautiful pictures.

    Kind regards,

    Ruby Pouchet
    Community & Content Coordinator

    P: +599 717- 8444
    F: +599 717- 7318
    E: rubypouchet@stinapa.org
    W: www.stinapa.org

    P.O. Box 368 | Bonaire | Dutch Caribbean
    pastedGraphic.png
     
    KathyV likes this.

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