This Trumpetfish is hiding among the branches of a soft coral in shallow water at Munk's Haven Reef near Klein Bonaire. The Trumpetfish disguises its long, thin body among the similarly-shaped branches of the coral. This disguise may fool a smaller fish into swimming nearby, where the Trumpetfish can catch it with a quick lunge. Trumpetfish can even change color, improving its camouflage by matching the color of the coral where it is hiding.
This Trumpetfish was approximately 20 inches long.
This photo also shows some interesting features of corals. Note the fuzzy appearance of the branches of the soft coral. This is caused by coral polyps, individual animals that make up the coral colony. The coral polyp extends tiny tentacles into the water to catch plankton, giving the coral its fuzzy appearance. This photo also shows a small brain coral, below and to the right of the Trumpetfish. The brain coral is a hard coral, and its polyps typically keep their tentacles withdrawn into the rock-like, calcium-based skeleton of the coral until after sundown. After sundown, this coral springs to life, as it extends its small tentacles into the water to feed on microscopic plankton.