Butterflyfish: Graceful Reef Gliders – Tim Grollimund Photography

Butterflyfish: Graceful Reef Gliders


A Marine Life Series Column about butterflyfish in the Florida Keys, with a Bonus Selection of images of Pacific Ocean butterflyfish species

There’s one thing I can guarantee I’ll see on every dive. They seem to be in every nook and cranny on the reef. Some sort of butterflyfish will be wherever I’m going. They remind me of those tiny self-propelled vacuum cleaners in television commercials that run around the house on their own, cleaning up after the messy homeowner. I sure could use a few of those some days at my house. Would save me a lot of work. Butterflyfish are one of the most common fish to see on our reefs. The REEF fish identification book has six species listed in the Caribbean. I have five of them in my image inventory, and most likely will never see the other one (Bank Butterflyfish), since it is uncommon and generally found below one hundred feet. In the Pacific there are well over 100 species. When I was in the Philippines and Wakatobi last year, I could have spent every dive observing butterflyfish and not come close to seeing them all. It was like somebody was making up different color schemes and tossing them all around me, and sitting back, grinning, while I’m going, hey, there’s a new one!

About the author

Tim Grollimund

Tim is based in Key Largo, Florida. He wrote the scuba diving column for the local newspaper, The Reporter, for over three years, and also served as a Working Group member and Alternate Representative on the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council. His ebooks are all based on his newspaper columns. Each ebook has a collection of underwater images shot by Tim. The ebooks cover a wide range of marine life species and ocean conservation topics.

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