Part Two – Juvenile Blacklip Butterflyfish (Chaetodon kleinii)

MikeSevernsDiving Diving on Maui, Marine Life, Maui - History/Events 5 Comments

Swarming divers and turtles in competition for food Strength in numbers is not a phrase that applies to the recent settlement of estimated millions of Blacklip Butterflyfish (Chaetodon kleinii) at Molokini and off the south coast of Maui. This many fish compete mightily for the limited amount of available food. We didn’t realize how serious the competition was until we had …

Part One – Massive numbers of juvenile Blacklip Butterflyfish

MikeSevernsDiving Diving on Maui, Marine Life 2 Comments

Have your eyes ever beheld so many individual things that they felt full? That is the way my eyes felt three weeks ago while diving off of Molokini and south Maui. They felt so full that I actually had the sensation they were itching. This is because on July 8 thousands of juvenile Blacklip Butterflyfish (Chaetodon kleinii) appeared overnight on …

Dr. Jack Randall – Hawaii’s Renowned Fish Scientist

MikeSevernsDiving Diving on Maui, Marine Life, People in diving 7 Comments

Scuba Dives on Dr. Jack Randall’s 90th Birthday This past week, as you may have heard, former President George H.W. Bush celebrated his 90th birthday by jumping out of a plane, performing his 8th skydive. But did you know that here in Hawaii, a locally well-known septuagenarian marked his 90th by scuba diving? Dr. John E. Randall, former Curator of Fishes of …

Do Hermit Crabs Kill Snails for Their Shells?

MikeSevernsDiving Diving on Maui, Marine Life 1 Comment

This is what I have wondered for most of my diving career. The 6th edition of Ruppert/Barnes Invertebrate Zoology textbook published in 1994 seemed to make it pretty clear: “Hermit crabs always use empty shells and never kill the original occupant.” So did the 7th edition published in 2004: “These distinctive decapods appropriate discarded snail shells for use as portable domiciles.” Then …

How far will a moray eel travel?

MikeSevernsDiving Diving on Maui, Marine Life 4 Comments

A Giant Moray circumnavigates Molokini Islet Almost every month brings a new underwater discovery that could be titled “Who Knew?” This summer a Giant Moray (Gymnothorax javanicus) has been sighted numerous times at the islet of Molokini. Although common farther west in the Pacific in places such as Indonesia, the Philippines and Australia, this eel is rare in Hawaii. So …

Tumor disappearance in a South Maui resident sea turtle

MikeSevernsDiving Diving on Maui, Marine Life 1 Comment

Any frequent Maui diver or snorkeler has witnessed innumerable green sea turtles with tumors, some as large as a baseball, and sometimes completely covering a turtle’s eyes. It’s a painful sight, even more so because these tumors are more prevalent in areas where we humans reside, and because we are most likely responsible for their suffering. Indications are that our …

Atlas Crabs Move Their World

MikeSevernsDiving Diving on Maui, Marine Life 0 Comments

In Greek mythology, Atlas was the Titan condemned by Zeus to hold up the celestial sphere. Have you seen a kind of scruffy drag mark on top of the sand, only to find what looks like a rock or piece of coral rubble at the end of it? I’d seen these for years and every time I turned one over …

Incredible Japanese pufferfish nests in Hawaii

MikeSevernsDiving Diving on Maui, Marine Life 5 Comments

The same day that I posted the previous article gushing over the perfection of male-constructed tilapia nests on Maui, a blog article on a Japanese pufferfish nest discovery was posted and picked up by the news media. http://www.spoon-tamago.com/2012/09/18/deep-sea-mystery-circle-love-story/ Since then it has been re-blogged and re-reported hundreds of times. The story is so popular because it appeals not only to …