The Kokala, Hawaiian Porcupinefish, is a cute but deadly little guy. He differs from a pufferfish mainly because he has spiny skin, not smooth. Otherwise, the Kokala is very similar to a pufferfish. He has big eyes for seeing at night, is toxic to consume and puffs up when alarmed or threatened. This little fish is not alarmed at the moment, he is just so excited to see you!
The Honu, Green Sea Turtle, has become a symbol of Hawaii. They nest mostly in protected northern islands of Hawaii but snorklers will often encounter them along the Hawaiian reef searching out lunch or just out for a swim. On land, these adorable creatures look like your everyday sunbather. Plopped contently at the shoreline, not a care in the world, soaking up sun with eyes closed and fins stretched out. In the water, the Honu swim gracefully like an eagle soaring through the sky.
The Honu faces danger from the beginning of life, and now more than ever needs our help to conserve their breeding grounds protect them from our growing population. To help, check out the following website;
The Manini, Convict Tang, is one of the most common fish found among the Hawaiian reef. You can spot them right away due to their striped skin and slightly green tone. Another fish known as Mamo looks similar to the Manini, but you can separate the two by the Manini's stripe through its eye. I love watching the little Manini swim along the reef. They are party fish and love to hang out in groups. During the day they have their fun, then at night it is time to stay still and avoid the larger hungry night fish.
The Menpachi, Squirrelfish, is one fish that looks permanently surprised. Being mostly nocturnal, they have big eyes to help them see at night. During the day you can find them tucked away in crevices and darting around in the underwater caves. I, of course, had to exaggerate the Menpachi's eye because it is the first thing I think of upon hearing its name. The Menpachi also has a spikey dorsal fin, giving him a punk rocker look when fully extended. Overall, he's probably the coolest fish in the water!
The Kihikihi, Moorish Idol, is a popular reef fish in Hawaii. They are easily identified by their striking black and white striped attire and accessories of yellow to the nose and backend. Super swift and dexterous, the Kihikihi darts along the coral reef searching for sponges that he an grab from crevices with his pointy nose. He is also one of the more curious fish and will not speed away too quickly when you come snorkeling by.
The Humuhumunukunukuapua'a, Hawaiian Triggerfish, has one of the longest names in the Hawaiian language. Translated it loosely means triggerfish with pig snout. They are known as a triggerfish due to their ability to blow water and sand out of their mouths to unearth tasty treats in the sand or within the crevices of the Hawaiian reef. The Humuhumu has become our state fish here in Hawaii, and he is easier to spot than to name. His bright colors will fade when sleeping and when the Humuhumu wishes to be submissive. Otherwise this celebrity fish flashes his colorful garb while holding court among the little fish surrounding the Hawaiian Islands.
Karen Obuhanych (kto ART) is a Hawaii-based artist who relishes in the simple, happy moments of everyday life.