This is the second article about scuba diving and marine life in
El Hierro. The waters around La Restinga are a marine reserve, and underwater life is rich with diverse animals in the clear waters. There are triggerfish, pufferfish, parrotfish, zebra seabream, porcupinefish, trumpetfish, garden eel and moray eel, dusky grouper, barracuda, greater amberjack, red scorpionfish, slipper lobster, tube-dwelling anemone, octopus, and much more.
By the way, the triggerfish was quite obtrusive and bit my son in the finger!
Black moray eel (Muraena augusti) with large white eyes, El Hierro. Moray eels actively pump water in and out of their open mouths which is often mistaken as threatening. They have excellent sense of smell.
Porcupinefish (Chilomycterus reticulatus) is also called blowfish as they puff into the seabed to uncover crustacean.
Crater sponge (Hemimycale columella) in El Hierro.
Hundreds of garden eels (Heteroconger longissimus) stick out their heads from the seabed in about 35 metres depth to eat plancton. The body of the almost sessile vertebrate animals remains in the sand, and when a bigger animal approaches, the whole colony of eels slowly disappears in the sand.
A bearded fireworm (Hermodice carunculata) climbs Cnidaria in El Hierro. Its bristles can penetrate human skin and inject a painful neurotoxin.
A brown moray eel (Gymnothorax unicolor) in a crevice is surrounded by crabs (Stenorhynchus lanceolatus), El Hierro.
Trumpetfish (Aulostomus strigosus), El Hierro.
Detail of a black-tail comber (Serranus atricauda), El Hierro.
Delicate branches move in front of a red sponge (Phorbas fictitius) in the background on a rock covered by green algae. I’m not sure if it’s a hydrozoa of the Plumulariidae family.
A small red scorpionfish (Scorpaena notata) hides in the shadow of a rock in the waters of El Hierro.
An octopus (Octopus vulgaris) hides below a rock changing colour to blend in with its surrounding. Octopus hunt at dusk and will eat almost everything they can catch. They are ascribed high intelligence and learning ability.
A curious pufferfish (Sphoeroides marmoratus) takes a look, El Hierro.
A small red scorpionfish (Scorpaena notata) hides in the shadow in the waters of El Hierro.
Grey triggerfish (Balistes capriscus), El Hierro. Its bony mouth has strong teeth.