Lembeh Strait, Indonesia ~ Juvenile Red Emperor Snappers, Lutjanus sebae, are not that uncommon here – we almost always find a few tiny juveniles nestled down in the spines of the Radiant Sea Urchins. They shelter there until they are ready to move to deep water to live out their lives as much larger and less colorful adults. In 2006, we were lucky enough to find a small group that had grown enough to start venturing out from the protection of the urchins. They didn’t seem to be disturbed by us so I spent my entire dive with them.
Our Scuba Diving magazine, June 2008 article about the encounter, “Out and About” is available as a pdf here. Since the accompanying video is no longer available, I’ve created a new one that is a departure from my usual video format. The only complaint my mother has ever made about my videos was that they are too short – actually, she meant the scenes were too short – that just as she was getting interested in a fish, the scene changed. As a fishwatcher, I actually enjoy long scenes of fishy reefs, but most people do not, so I try to keep my videos short. This one is for my mom: “All Snappers, All the Time.”