From Cozumel - images showing behavior

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Posted by Merry on August 27, 2012 at 18:50:42:

Behavior-watching provided delightful entertainment. There was cleaning action galore.

A juvenile Spanish hogfish cleaning blue tangs. What this photo doesn’t show is that the busy little fish was repeatedly mobbed by other larger fish waiting their turn.

A juvenile French angelfish bugged this honeycomb cowfish for a parasite snack, but the cowfish wasn’t having any of it.

As this stoplight parrotfish scrapes algae from the rocks, a cowfish waits for tidbits.

Dogging this yellow goatfish are a puddingwife and a fish I can’t identify. Is that a barred jack?

Sporting breeding-blue, a male sergeant major guards the eggs.


Completely unconcerned about divers, this sharptail eel kept “heading right for us”. It finally took a fancy to Scott’s glove, and held still for a brief second.

Surprising behavior occurred at night, particularly among the yellowline arrow crabs. I saw several instances of territoriality, as they duked it out with their nearest arrow crab neighbor. This crab pinned a smaller crab with both claws.

Not big enough for his britches, a white speckled hermit feeds at night.

By far, the wildest thing I saw was a drama involving 3 white speckled hermit crabs.

The middle crab was the aggressor, while curiously balancing a smaller hermit on top of his shell. The middle crab grasped the larger, (lower) shell and by continuous, rhythmic rocking, attempted to oust the resident crab. This went on for a good 30 seconds. Meanwhile, the little hermit on top held on for dear life. After a furious effort, it appeared the middle crab was unsuccessful in his attempt. At last, the resident crab emerged as if to say, “Better luck next time, chum.”



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