When you come diving or snorkeling on the reefs around the Samana Peninsula in the Dominican Republic and what can you expect to see during your vacation in The Caribbean? Well not eye less fish, we hope!
Some of the fish that are commonly found at all of our dive sites include tangs, damsels, grunts, jacks and parrot fish. A firm favourite with all of us is the inquisitive damsel fish. This little blue fish is fearless and will approach divers and snorkelers alike, often swimming straight up to us and peering into our masks. Other times, if we get too close to their area of reef, they swim out to us, in an almost threatening manner. Before you start thinking they are dangerous their average length is between 2 and 5 inches and they have no teeth! You can see these ferocious fish by following this link:
A special favourite and one that is vitally important to the Caribbean is the parrot fish. Why’s this fish so important? Because the beautiful white sandy beaches that abound in The Dominican Republic and other islands of the Caribbean are comprised of – PARROT FISH POOP .
One large parrot fish can produce a ton of sand in a year. How do they achieve this? Simple, they are veritable eating machines. They have bony plated jaws that flex and work like the scoop on a bulldozer and spend their days scraping and biting off the crunchy skeletons of corals. The crunchy stuff isn’t what the fish is after though; it is after algae that live inside the soft coral polyps. Just inside the fishes throat lrks an additional set of jaws which pulverise the indigestible coral. The digestive system does the rest and a large fish can produce a ton of sand every year, something to think about when you next lounge on the beach
The Parrot fish truly have been one of the most confusing species of Caribbean fish. It was thought that there were around 300 different species of Scaridae, the family name for them, but now scientists have established that this number is closer to a mere 80 varieties.
The reason for this confusion is that this species is constantly changing colour and shape as it matures and, in some cases, even gender. For example, some shoals have an ‘Alpha Male’ who presides over a veritable harem of females and in the event of his death or his displacement, the dominant female will become a male and will adopt the dead males colouring to ensure the shoals’ survival. Should another male move into the fold, the female may change back to female again. Now you can see how confusing this species is!
A commonly sighted fish on our reef dives is the Blue Tang also known as surgeon fish. The beautiful blue adults are extremely lively and put on a mesmerising show as they swim at great speed all around the reefs.
While we never guarantee what you’ll see on an excursion to the reefs with us we do guarantee you’ll have fun!