We went diving around Turneffe Atoll and Lighthouse Reef.


Divers over tube sponges Diver over barrel sponge Sponge garden Sponges Gorgonium and encrusting sponge Tube sponge bent into an arch Azure vase sponge

There are many kinds of sponges - tube sponges, barrel sponges, vase sponges, encrusting sponges...


Gorgonium fan

Blue Hole

Stalactite at Blue Hole

We dove the blue hole at Lighthouse Reef. At about 100 feet, or 30 meters, there are big stalactites from when this was above water. Now they are covered with marine growth.

Yellow-headed Jawfish, Opistognathus aurifrons

Yellowhead jawfish

The jawfish lives in a hole.


Smooth trunkfish Spotted trunkfish

Trunkfish are among Charlotte's favorites. Here are a smooth trunkfish, Lactophrys triqueter, and a spotted trunkfish, Lactophrys bicaudalis.

Yellowhead Wrasses, Halichoeres garnoti

Yellowhead wrasse (terminal phase) Yellowhead wrasse (initial phase)

Creole Wrasses, Clepticus parrae

Creole wrasses

Yellowtail Snapper, Ocyurus chrysurus

Yellow-tailed snapper

Sheepshead porgy, Calamus penna

Saucer eye porgy

Schoolmaster, Lutjanus apodus


Grey Angelfish, Pomacanthus aruatus

Grey angel

Spotted scorpionfish, Scorpaena plumieri

Spotted scorpionfish head Spotted scorpionfhsi

Scorpionfish sit on the bottom and try to look like coral or sponges. When an unsuspecting small fish wanders by they quickly open their mouth and gulp it.

If you don't see a fish in the photo on the left, look again. It is looking straight at you, and you can see the eyes, nostrils, and mouth.


White spotted toadfish

Here is another bottom-dweller.

Red Hind, Epinephelus guttatus

Red hind

Nassau Grouper, Epinephelus striatus

Nassau grouper

Spotted Goatfish, Pseuduperaus maculatus

Spotted goatfish (night colors)

Indigo Hamlet, Hypoplectrus indigo

Indigo hamlet

Stoplight Parrotfish, Sparisoma viride

Stoplight parrotfish

Flamingo Tongue, Cyphoma gibbusum

Flamingo Tongue

These are not related to flamingos, but are a shell. The spots are the mantle of the animal.

Red Hermit Crab, Paguristes cadenati

Hermit crab

This is a very small hermit crab. It is walking on a sponge.


Green turtle Hawksbill turtle

The turtle on the left is a Green turtle, Chelonia mydas, and the one on the right is a Hawksbill, Eretmochelys imbricata. They live in the water all the time, coming on land only to lay eggs. They breathe air so they must swim to the surface occasionally.

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Last modified 12 March 2017