Volume 6    Number 5

Schoolmasters at Coral Garden Reef
near Grand Turk

Schoolmasters near Grand Turk

ReefNews photographer Jonathan Dowell found these silver-phase Schoolmasters on a reef near Grand Turk. Dr. Dowell took this photo in June 2002 at Coral Garden Reef using a Canon A2 camera with a 28-105 mm lens in an Ikelite housing. Coral Garden is a great name for this reef, as the sea floor under the dive-boat mooring is covered with a thick carpet of corals that spill out over the undersea cliff and down the face of the wall. This was a picturesque dive site with many different species of corals, fishes, and reef creatures. Dr. Dowell saw these Schoolmasters with Sea Rod and Sea Fan Corals in the background at about 50 feet underwater.

Schoolmasters are a members of the family of fishes called Snappers. Snappers are hunters that are built for swimming fast, with swept-back fins and streamlined bodies. Snappers may eat crustaceans or small fish.

The Schoolmasters in this picture are their usual colors. Their bodies are silver with yellow highlights. Schoolmasters are identified by their size, shape, and bright yellow fins.

Schoolmasters can be pretty big, up to 2 feet long. The fish in this picture were about 16 inches long.

What other fast-swimming fish can you find on the ReefNews website? Fish that can swim fast are identified by streamlined bodies, often with sloped snouts; swept-back fins; streamlined tails that often are forked; and a narrow caudal peduncle (the part of the fish's body where its tail is attached).

Compare these Schoolmasters from Grand Turk with the pink-phase Schoolmasters from Bimini in e-ReefNews Vol. 6 No. 5, at
How are these fish similar? How are they different?



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