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Old 04-03-2004, 05:58 PM   #1
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Day at the beach...

Well the wife and I decided to head out to the beach today. We got ahold of another couple we knew as we were going out so the ladies could lay on the beach while the guys snorkeled. I decided to take along one of those disposable underwater cameras to see what we could find. Boy was I glad we did.

We went snorkeling in a state park here in Panama City. There are jetties (rocks) all around the place so it makes the perfect setting for "reef like life". We were snorkeling in about 25-30 ft water at times. This is the depth where the real interesting stuff is. Pink Murex's and purple and red gorgonians totally fill the under water landscape. We were even lucky enough to see a rather large Angel which I have yet to identify. There were also large colonies of SPS's everywhere! I couldn't believe it in these cold of waters. I don't have an id on those either but I will get better shots next time I go. Then there were urchins, wrasses, gobies, groupers, sheeps head, etc... The list goes on and on. Here are the pictures that came out well enough to post. Out of 24 taken, only these were "good" to use. I guess that is the price you pay when you are trying to hold a camera steady under ~25 ft of water...

BTW, the water was absolutely freezing. It was 63F. Very, very cold. I am going to have to go get one of those cheapo wetsuits at Wal-Mart if we go back next weekend...
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Old 04-03-2004, 05:59 PM   #2
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Old 04-03-2004, 06:01 PM   #3
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Last one...

Oh, and BTW, this was a look and touch only outing. No creatures were taken from the park. Although just about everything *can* be harvested except for the gorgonians.
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Old 04-03-2004, 06:03 PM   #4
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Very cool! How'd you see the flounder? It took me a minute just looking at the pic!
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Old 04-03-2004, 06:09 PM   #5
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Very cool! How'd you see the flounder? It took me a minute just looking at the pic!
Pot luck! We were snorkeling back to shore in about 3ft of water and I swam right over the guy! Had to get a pic.
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Old 04-03-2004, 06:10 PM   #6
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My guess on the angel fish is either

Holacanths ciliaris OR Holacanthus isabelita

Per my Burgess atlas of marine fish the fish you linked most matches the color pattern and the fin shape of those to fish. Although neither is a match for the colors you have in the photo.
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Old 04-03-2004, 06:19 PM   #7
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I was looking Holacanths isabelita myself, but like you said, it is not an exact color match. I also was suprised to see angels this far north. Perhaps he is lost...

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Old 04-03-2004, 06:27 PM   #8
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Per my marine fishes book...

It could also be a holcanthus bermudensis. This can be found in the Tropical Eastern Atlantic and has a different color pattern for the juv version. NEither the adult nor juv version looks like your photo per the book. But you photo looks closer to the adult coloration except yours has a darker top part of the body and more pronounced blue in the gill region.

Could be a change in coloration due to the light reflections or maybe the color temp or light intensity. We know that some fish have a totally different look at say lights out vs daylight.
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Old 04-03-2004, 07:27 PM   #9
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It's a blue angel, to my knowledge the queesn do not occur this far north, could also be a townsend, which is suppose to be a cross between the two. I think the blue is a ciliaris.
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Old 04-03-2004, 10:48 PM   #10
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Thanks guys for the help with the I.D. I am going to go back next weekend and see if she is still there. My buddy said he has seen them at that location before so hopefully, this isn't a one time occurence.
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