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|Posted on October 24, 2014 at 1:50 PM|
Simply known as Kelp Greenlings, these curious fish are common at most the dive sites we frequent around the island and are therefore commonly ignored. However, they have a lot of character and are one of my favourite species to interact with underwater. The females (as seen above) are browny-blue coloured and somewhat plain compared to their bright yellow/blue male counterpoints.
Most of the information I can find on them is about how to catch and cook them, but they do lead interesting lives you know. After using their flashy colours to attract a mate and create a small nest of eggs the males will ferociously protect their brood from larger predators. And they can live to be 25 years old, so they probably have a few stories to tell.
I find them to be somewhat playful underwater. While diving up in Rockbay last weekend a female greenling helped me build an underwater art installation. The bay is full of old treasures--bottles, dishes, metal do-hickeys etc. I puttered around the bay collecting the most interesting of these objects and setting them up in an artful display. The fish (who you might think doesn't have any feelings but does in fact have an eye for great art) sat near by watching me add to the sculpture. She would swim away a bit, but kept coming back to assess the new additions as I added them. I knew she was critiquing my creative decisions and I could tell when she didn't agree with the placcement of an object because she wouldn't sit and stare at it for very long. She particularly enjoyed the teacups...
Next time you're diving, I highly recommend having a conversation with a kelp greenling, there's much more to them than meets the eye.