Triggerfish, Hatta Island, Bandas, Indonesia, Ethan Daniels

 

Drifting above the edge of a vertical drop off I watched thousands upon thousands of red-tooth triggerfish flapping their fins in the crystal clear water. Hundreds of fish suddenly converged in a tight ball looking as if they were spawning en masse. Upon closer inspection I made out that this wasn’t the case. The triggerfish were not releasing eggs and sperm but feeding on other fish’s gametes as they were released. A pair of bird wrasse had just spawned high in the water column and the triggerfish had immediately gobbled up most, if not all, of the eggs. This happened over and over again as various wrasse species spawned along the reef edge. Spawning behaviors of a variety of fish species were seen throughout the Banda Islands as our recent trip coincided with February’s full moon. But reef fish were merely part of the region’s story as I found the marine invertebrates, and the coral health and diversity in particular, to be equally engaging.-Ethan Daniels

 

Reefs photographed at Pulau Hatta

Hatta Island

Coral reef Hatta Island photographed while snorkeling

Hatta Island

A snorkeler dives to get a closer look at the beautiful coral reef at Hatta Island in the Banda Islands, Indonesia

Coral reef around Hatta Island

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