BLUE CHROMIS: BAHAMAS REEF FISH (29)
The little blue chromis Chromis cyanea will be instantly familiar to any snorkeler or scuba diver on the coral reefs of the Bahamas. These ever-present small fish – 6 inches long at most – are remarkable for their iridescent deep blue colour that flashes as they dart in and out of the coral and anemones of the reef.
Although at first sight this chromis species – one of many – looks blue all over, adults have a black dorsal stripe and black edging to their fins. They make colourful additions to aquariums, though to my mind they look far more attractive nosing about the reefs foraging for the zooplankton upon which they feed (see header image for details…)
The blue chromis was the second fish species I encountered on my first ever reef dive, at Fowl Cay Marine Preserve with Kay Politano. The first fish was the endearingly inquisitive sergeant major with its smart black and yellow stripes which came right up to my googles to eyeball me. I loved that, even though my pitiful swimming technique meant that I had plenty of other distractions, not least remembering to breathe. Air, that is, rather than water.
SO JUST HOW BIG ARE THESE FISH, COMPARED, SAY, TO A BLUE TANG?
Blue Tang with blue chromis in its wake
All photos Melinda Riger of Grand Bahama Scube, except the penultimate by James St John, taken in San Salvador
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The fish in the third photo looks a little miffed.
Miffed indeed – a bit of a diva among chromis, and not at all ready for a photo-shoot. Just look at those fins – all over the place.