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School of Yellow Tangs (Zebrasoma

flavescens) At Molokini Crater Reef 

Located in the Alalakeiki Channel off the south coast of Maui, Molokini is an extinct submerged volcano that has established a very productive reef environment. The crescent-shaped summit of the crater protrudes from the water's surface and serves as a protective geologic barrier against strong waves and powerful currents. Because of this unique shielding feature, a lush reef is able to flourish within the crater. The State of Hawaii has designated Molokini a Marine Life and Bird Conservation District, as over 250 species of fish, many of which are endemic to this particular area, can be viewed along the volcanic reef.

One fish species commonly found along the coral-rich Hawaiian volcanic reefs is the Yellow Tang (Zebrasoma flavescens). With a bright yellow pigment and a small peduncular spine, the Yellow Tang can exhibit a group orientated spawning behavior over the reef. This photograph shows that rare group spawning behavior at the Molokini Crater Reef, as the territorial Yellow Tang males court the passing females.

This photograph was taken by CERF Vice-President, Chris Makowski ( This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ), during a scientific research dive at the Molokini Crater Reef along the island of Maui, Hawaii, USA.

 

 

 


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