Volume 5    Number 13

Yellowtail Snapper: Ambassador of the Reef
at Silver Caves Reef near Long Cay in Belize

Yellowtail Snapper: Ambassador of the Reef

Yellowtail Snappers are some of the friendliest fish in the sea. I have seen these fish throughout the Caribbean, so finding them at Silver Caves Reef near Belize was no surprise.

Mature Yellowtail Snappers are usually 1 to 2 feet long. They swim in mid-water, above the reef but well below the surface. Like most open-water fishes that live away from the reef, these Yellowtail Snappers are built for speed. They have sleek streamlined bodies with pointed snouts and swept back fins. Their tail fins are large and deeply forked. These features make them fast and efficient swimmers.

Yellowtail Snappers are one of the few fish that will swim right up to a diver and look them in the eye. That is why I call them Ambassadors of the Reefs.

In the background is a silhouette of a tall Sea Rod Coral. You also can see some fishes, including the forked yellow tails of other Yellowtail Snappers. On the surface near the upper left corner is the hull of the Nekton Pilot, the boat on which we sailed during our visit to Belize.

ReefNews photographer Jonathan Dowell took this photo using a Canon A2 camera with a 28-105 mm zoom lens in an Ikelite housing with an Ikelite strobe.



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