While snorkeling during my recent trip to Hawaii, I saw lots of fish I recognized (yellow tangs, butterflyfish, puffers, eels, etc.), but I was lucky enough to view two unique fish species for the very first time. One was the incredible, gorgeous Moorish idol. There I was swimming along, taking in the underwater sights, when I saw a flash of black, white and yellow out of the corner of my eye. I immediately turned and set out in the other direction, looking for the fish.
I was hoping this would be my first glimpse of a Moorish idol in person, but I knew there were butterfly species that looked similar to these fish. I spotted the fish in question and slowly swam up to it, checking out the markings on its body. Luckily, my husband (the official underwater photographer) happened to swim by and snapped a picture of what I was pretty certain was indeed a Moorish idol. What a breathtaking fish!
The other fish I saw up close and personal for the first time were various species of unicornfish, which were easily identifiable from the hornlike protrusion on their heads. These interesting fish were bizarre-looking and beautiful at the same time. I didn’t know they were surgeonfish until I came home and did a little research (if you look closely at the picture, you can see the tell-tale spines next to the fish’s tail).