Author Archives: Kona Honu Divers

Fish of the Month: Psychedelic Wrasse

This month, post your pictures and/or videos of the Psychedelic Wrasse on Instagram! Tag @kona_honu_divers and add #konahonudivers #psychewrasseofthemonth. Your name will go into the drawing for a $25 gift card to our shop! Posts must be made before the end of March. We will announce the Winner April 1st!

BadWrasses

Psychedelic Wrasses (front male, females in background) by Bo Pardau

The psychedelic wrasse is a fun fish to look for on your dives in Hawaii. This fish is endemic to the Hawaiian Islands and known for the male’s signature vibrant facial coloration. Other names for this fish are Psyche-Head wrasse, Red-Tail Tamarin, and its Latin name: Anampses chrysocephalus.

You’ll see groups of females and singular male fish often in rubble areas. Want to know how to tell them apart? It’s easy! Psychedelic wrasses begin their lives as females. As females they are a dark brown color with white spots on their bodies and bright red tails. They swim with a group of other females using their protruding front teeth to scrape their food from rocks. Over time, the dominant female of the group will transform into a male Psychedelic wrasse. The males are a lighter brown over their body and tail. Their heads are a vibrant orange with bright blue spots. The males are usually larger than the females, reaching 6-7″ in length.

Keep your eye out for Psyche Wrasses on your dives this month and submit your pictures or videos for the chance to win a gift card to our shop! (Details at top)

Coral Reef Conservation-Specialty of the Month-March

Coral reefs are spectacular, diverse ecosystems that are home to thousands of fish, invertebrate, and plant species…all threatened more than ever by climate change, pollution, overfishing, and human development. As divers, we learn how to limit our impact underwater by practicing good buoyancy control and streamlining our gear. Now take your education to the next level by gaining your Coral Reef Conservation specialty rating! Spend two dives with your instructor learning how to identify local coral species and signs of stress, why our coral reefs are so important, and how you can make a difference to help prevent their further decline so that future generations of divers can enjoy these beautiful rainforests of the sea!

14445136_1096484490427955_8869884549956969355_o

PREREQUISITES: Junior Open Water Divers and above are eligible to take this course.

REQUIRED MATERIALS: Hawaii’s Sea Creatures – A Guide to Hawaii’s Marine Invertebrates by John Hoover plus an underwater writing slate (both available in our shop with your 10% student discount!)

EQUIPMENT: It’s best to use your own gear but our rental department has everything you’ll need!

COST: Just an additional $75 to your already scheduled day charter plus the required materials and tax (includes instruction and certification fee!)

Fish of the Month Contest: Cleaner Wrasse

This month, post your pictures and/or videos of the Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse on Instagram! Tag @kona_honu_divers and add #konahonudivers #cleanerwrasseofthemonth. Your name will go into the drawing for a $20 gift card to our shop! Posts must be made before the end of February. We will announce the Winner March 1st!

img_0144

Photo by Stacey Herman

Have you been snorkeling or diving around the reef and seen fish suspended, nearly motionless with their fins flared out and a little vibrant yellow, blue, and purple fish nipping at their scales? That slender little fish doing the nipping is likely the Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse aka Labroides phthirophagus.

The Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse is an endemic fish that is quite common all over the island chain. These fish establish territories on the reef that serve other fish as “cleaning stations.” For the wrasse, these stations serve as their meal ticket. Larger fish will hover in the Cleaner Wrasse territory and let the fish get busy scrubbing their scales and picking off ectoparasites. The dare devil Cleaner will even clean inside of predatory fish mouths and gills! In return for their maintenance, the fish will snack on the visitor’s mucus.

Look for these little beauties next time you’re diving, freediving, or snorkeling! Enter your Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse pictures and videos in our Fish of the Month Contest to win a $20 gift card to the Kona Honu Divers shop!

Specialty of the Month-Fish ID

“What was the name of that cool fish we saw on our last dive?” It’s one of the most frequent questions our guides hear on the boat (and not surprisingly…Hawaii has over 650 wonderful fish species!) By learning how to classify fish into different families, recognizing unique behavior, and identifying their habitats, you’ll gain a new appreciation of what it takes to name just about any species (plus impress all your nerdy ichthyophile friends!)

12006300_872987886110951_6144820417678647379_n

Over two dives with one of our experience instructors you’ll also learn about strategies used in fish surveys from conservation efforts like REEF and Project AWARE. In addition, these dives may be used for credit toward your Advanced Open Water Diver certification (bonus!)

PREREQUISITES: Junior Open Water Divers and above are eligible to take this course.

REQUIRED MATERIALS: Hawaiian Reef Fishes by John Hoover plus reef fish identification and underwater writing slates (all available in our shop with your 10% student discount!)

EQUIPMENT: It’s best to use your own gear but our rental department has everything you’ll need!

COST: Just an additional $75 to your already scheduled day charter plus the required materials and tax (includes instruction and certification fee!)

 

Fish of the Month Contest: Hawaiian Lionfish

LIONFISH PHOTO CONTEST!!! Post your recent Hawaiian Red and/or Green Lionfish fish pics to Instagram. Tag @kona_honu_divers and #konahonudivers #lionfishphotocontest. Your post must be a new image (not a re-post) and uploaded by January 5th, 2017. Each entry will go into the drawing for a $25.00 gift card to Kona Honu Divers and/or Kona Freedivers. The winner will be announced January 6th, 2017!

dsc_0488-1

Hawaiian Red Lionfish by Stacey Herman

Hawaiian Lionfish are some of the KHD crew’s favorite reef residents.

There are two species of Lionfish you could see while exploring Kona’s coral reefs: The Hawaiian Red Lionfish (aka: Hawaiian Turkeyfish, nohu pinao, Pterois sphex) and the Hawaiian Green Lionfish (aka: Barber’s Lionfish, nohu pinao, Dendrochirus barberi).

The Hawaiian Red Lionfish is an endemic fish red-brown and white stripes and extravagantly long white spines extending from its pectoral fins. This ornate fish rests during the day beneath rocks, arches, and little caves. It’s on the prowl at night, hunting shrimp and crabs. It’s spiky appearance and vivid coloration is a warning sign to potential predators! Those spines are venomous! You can find these Hawaiian Red Lionfish as shallow as 3m/10′ to deep reefs of 122m/400′.

The Hawaiian Green Lionfish, also endemic, isn’t quite as vibrant as the Red Lionfish. This Lionfish tends to blend into the reef a bit better with its green-brown-red coloration with red eyes. Rather than spiny pectoral fins that are characteristic of the reds, the greens have interesting fan-like pectoral fins. These cute little venomous fish are found more frequently than the reds, typically in sand patches or on/under coral heads.

 

Specialty of the Month-Peak Performance Buoyancy

Need a resolution for the New Year? Start 2017 off right by mastering your buoyancy underwater! Divers that perfect this important skill glide effortlessly through the water, avoid contact with the bottom, and save air…plus they just look really cool! Take your diving to the next level with the Kona Honu Divers Specialty of the Month…Peak Performance Buoyancy. Over two dives our instructors will give you tips to improve your vertical and horizontal positioning in the water, help you determine proper weighting and trim to establish optimal balancing underwater, practice different kicking styles, effective breathing techniques, and streamline your equipment to turn you into a scuba ninja!

;peakperformancebuoyancy

PREREQUISITES: Junior Open Water Divers and above are eligible to take this course.

REQUIRED MATERIALS: Peak Performance Buoyancy Manual

EQUIPMENT: It’s best to use your own gear but our rental department has everything you’ll need!

Add Peak Performance Buoyancy to your already scheduled morning charter for only an additional $100.

Includes: Experienced Instructor, manual, and processing fee for certification card.

For more information visit http://tinyurl.com/h45omkb

 

Fish of the Month: Ornate Butterflyfish

labroides-phthirophagus-ornate

Photo by Keoki Stender

Let’s take a look at one of Hawaii’s vibrantly stunning and easy to find reef inhabitants: the Ornate Butterflyfish. The Ornate Butterflyfish, or Chaetodon oratissimus, can be found from the shallows to a depth of about 36m/118 ft. You’ll typically see these colorful beauties swimming in pairs over the reef, feeding on coral polyps. When mature, Ornate Butterflyfish are approximately 20cm/7.9 in in length. They have white bodies with orange oblique lines streaking their sides. A characteristic feature of these fish

fullsizerender-5

Drawn by S. Eisenberg

is yellow and black bars striping their faces, giving them a unique definition from other butterflyfish on our local reefs.

You may have seen Ornate Butterflyfish on one of your previous dive trips. The species is
widespread throughout the Indo-Pacific regions. If you’re snorkeling or diving over coral, you have a great chance of spotting them! See how many you can find the next time you’re in the water.